An international salmon farming company has been fined £800,000 after an employee drowned after being crushed at one of its sites in the Highlands.
Clive Hendry, 58, plunged into the water from a feeding barge ladder while trying to move between a pair of vessels on February 18, 2020, at Ardintoul Point in Loch Alsh.
The Ardintoul assistant manager was severely injured after being crushed between the two, and despite a fellow fish worker grabbing his life jacket, Mr Hendry slipped out of it and into the water.
He was pulled from the water but could not be revived.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency investigation found that the company had “failed to make a suitable risk assessment, maintain systems of work and failed to provide employees with the necessary supervision”.
Mowi Scotland pled guilty to health and safety breaches committed at Inverness Sheriff Court on Tuesday and they were fined £800,000.
The company said the practice – known as touch and go transfers – had been discontinued and new safe working practices had been implemented.
A Mowi spokesperson said: “We continue to be devastated by the death of our colleague and friend, Clive Hendry, and our thoughts are with Clive’s family.
“Immediately following the fatality, our company implemented the recommendations of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch. We acknowledge the court’s ruling.”
Debbie Carroll, who leads on health and safety investigations for the COPFS, said: “Clive Hendry was much loved by his partner and a well-liked and respected man by friends and colleagues. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.
“Mowi Scotland Limited accepted liability and the Crown accepted their guilty plea to the contraventions of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
“Since this incident the company has introduced new risk assessments and has put into practice safe systems of work.
“Had these been in place at the time then Mr Hendry’s transfer from the Beinn na Cailleach to the Sea Cap would have taken place without incident and he would be alive today.
“Hopefully this incident should prompt other employers to consider their duties and that failing to keep their employees safe can have fatal consequences for which they will be held accountable.”