Building materials firm fined £1m after worker dies

James Brownlie was carrying out maintenance work in West Calder when he was struck by machine

The case was heard at Livingston Sheriff Court <strong>STV</strong>
The case was heard at Livingston Sheriff Court STV

A company has been fined £1m after a worker suffered fatal injuries when he was struck by machine lifting mask.

James Brownlie, 61, was carrying out maintenance and repair work in West Calder for Cemex UK Operations on a “dry sided conveyor” which ran under a centering machine.

Livingston Sheriff Court heard that machine was not isolated at the time and part of Mr Brownlie’s body interrupted the path of the light beam between the sensor’s emitter and reflector.

It 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.

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The incident, which happened on May 13, 2017 led to a court case and investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Safety experts found that Cemex UK Operations Limited failed to ensure the centering machine was isolated prior to the maintenance and repair work being carried out on the conveyor.

The company of Evreux Way, Rugby, pleaded guilty to breaching two sections of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £1,000,000.

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.

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


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