Man sentenced for failings that led to death fall

A 38-year-old-man has been sentenced for health and safety failings which led to an employee being thrown to his death.

Kevin Bowie, sole director of Denny based Precision Decorating Services (Scotland) Ltd, was given a Community Payback Order requiring him to be under supervision for 18 months and to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work after he was found guilty of a breach of the Working at Height Regulations 2005 and the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 at Falkirk Sheriff Court on 31 March 2022.

The court heard that on 27 September 2018 Michael McArthur was working in the basket platform of a cherry picker (mobile elevated work platform) which was raised to the upper levels of a house on Balkerach Street, Doune to allow him to decorate dormer windows.

A tour bus struck the arm of the cherry picker and Mr McArthur was thrown from the basket and fell to the road, sustaining severe injuries from which he died.

Bowie was found to have failed to ensure that the work being carried out at height was properly planned, appropriately supervised, and carried out in a manner which was, as far as reasonably practicable, safe.

No suitable measures were in place to effectively segregate the cherry picker from street traffic.

Alistair Duncan, Head of the Health and Safety Investigation Unit, Crown Office, said:

"This was a tragic incident that could have been avoided if Kevin Bowie had put in place appropriate protective measures to protect his employee Michael McArthur.

"Falls from height are usually the greatest single cause of death and serious injury to workers within the construction industry.

“Hopefully this prosecution will remind other employers that failure to fulfil their obligations can have severe and tragic consequences and that they will be held to account for their failings."