Cemex UK Operations fined £1m after worker died

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Building materials company, Cemex UK Operations has been fined £1m after a worker suffered fatal injuries when he was struck on the body by a centering machine lifting mast

Livingston Sheriff Court heard how on 13 May 2017, James Brownlie – an employee of Cemex UK Operations – was carrying out maintenance and repair work on a dry sided conveyor, part of which ran under a machine known as a centering machine.

The centering machine was not isolated at the time and part of Brownlie’s body interrupted the path of the light beam between the sensor’s emitter and reflector. This caused the machine’s lifting mast to activate and descend, striking him on the body and causing internal injuries from which he died a short time later.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Cemex UK Operations failed to ensure the centering machine was isolated prior to the maintenance and repair work being carried out on the conveyor.

Cemex UK Operations pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) and Section 33 (1) (a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974 and was fined £1m.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Kim Ross, said: “This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a man, which could have easily been prevented if had taken action to ensure the centering machine was isolated prior to the maintenance and repair work being carried out.

“If this had been in place before the incident, James Brownlie’s death could have been prevented.”

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