• Robert Spicer

Orkney Crushing Death: Health And Safety Prosecution

Orkney excavator crushing death: £12,000 fine

Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service v William George Sinclair Reid t/a E&M Engineering Services (2015) Kirkwall Sheriff Court, March 25

William George Sinclair Reid, trading as E&M Engineering services, has been fined following the death of an employee in a crushing incident.

Significant points of the case

  • In November 2012 Christopher Hartley, an employee of Reid, was working on a pier in Hoy, Orkney. He was unloading metal panels from a van, using an excavator.

  • Hartley was struck by the moving excavator and crushed between the machine and a fixed cabinet at the end of the pier. He suffered fatal crush injuries.

  • Although Reid had carried out a risk assessment, he had not identified mechanical lifting as a hazard and the risks associated with using an excavator.

  • Reasonable precautions had not been taken to reduce the risk of a person being struck by a moving load or excavator.

  • Reid should have planned and controlled the task to ensure that a strictly-enforced exclusion zone was set up during all excavator manoeuvring and lifting operations, and that all personnel involved were wearing appropriate hi-vis clothing, particularly since the work was being undertaken in the dark.

Reid was fined £12,000 for a breach of regulation 8, Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. Regulation 8 states, in summary, that every employer shall ensure that every lifting operation involving lifting equipment is properly planned by a competent person, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner.

Recent Posts

See All


England’s coronavirus ban on evictions came to an end on May 32, 2021. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has reported that 400,000 private renters have been served with eviction notices or told to expect


DAMAGES Lost years of earnings Case Head v Culver Heating Co Ltd [2021] EWCA Civ 34 Facts H was the managing director of EMSL, his own heating and ventilation company. He was negligently exposed to as

More recent employment cases

RACE DISCRIMINATION Harassment Stale training Case Allay (UK) Ltd v Gehlen UKEAT/0031/20/AT Facts G, a man of Indian origin, was employed by A in October 2016. In August 2017 he told his line manager