Death investigations

FAI court process begins for the death of a construction worker

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has lodged a First Notice to begin the court process for a Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of Derek McLean. 

Mr McLean, a 43-year-old father of three from Falkirk, died on 22 August 2019 after an accident at the St Enoch Centre in Glasgow when he was trapped and killed by a robotic demolition machine. 

A preliminary hearing is set for 15 August 2023 at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

The purpose of a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) includes determining the cause of death; the circumstances in which the deaths occurred, and to establish what, if any, reasonable precautions could have been taken, and could be implemented in the future, to minimise the risk of future deaths in similar circumstances. 

This FAI follows the prosecution and conviction of Core Cut Limited for a breach of health and safety legislation.

Unlike criminal proceedings, FAIs are inquisitorial in nature, and are used to establish facts rather than to apportion blame.      

Procurator Fiscal Andy Shanks, who leads on fatalities investigations for COPFS, said:    

“The death of Derek McLean occurred while in the course of his employment and as such a Fatal Accident Inquiry is mandatory.   

“The lodging of the First Notice enables FAI proceedings to commence under the direction of the Sheriff.     

“Mr McLean’s family will continue to be kept informed of significant developments as court proceedings progress.”  

Further information

On 3 November 2022 Core Cut Limited pled guilty a charge contrary to Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and Section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 

The company accepted that they had failed to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of Derek McLean to which he was exposed whilst manoeuvring a BROKK 260 tracked remote controlled demolition machine from one level to another via a staircase. 

The company was fined £10,000. 

Sheriff’s sentencing statement - HMA v Core Cut Limited (