Construction firm fined £10,000 after employee crushed to death

The dad was found trapped between the machine and a concrete wall beside the stairwell at St Enoch centre.

Construction firm fined £10,000 after employee crushed to death in St Enoch centre in Glasgow

A firm was fined £10,000 on Thursday following the death of a construction worker at a shopping centre.

Core Cut Limited employee Derek McLean, 43, was crushed after attempting to manoeuvre a 3.5 tonne BROKK machine up a set of stairs in Glasgow’s St Enoch on August 22, 2019.

Mr McLean was having difficulty gaining grip with trafficking the machine as it was being moved remotely up the stairwell of the city centre location.

The precise circumstances of the accident are deemed “unknown” but CCTV showed the experienced diamond drilling operative part way through tracking the machine.

The dad-of-three was later found trapped between the machine and a concrete wall to the left of the stairwell.

He was also found to have the remote control used to operate the machine around his waistband.

A timber board – used for tracking machinery upstairs – was found resting against a wall while another was underneath the left track of the equipment.

Core Cut Limited pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to failing to make a suitable and sufficient assessment to the risks of health and safety of Mr McLean.

Sheriff John McCormick said: “It is accepted that death did not occur as a consequence of the breach.

“Mr McLean was behind the machine on an incline where he should have been in front of it.

“It is conceded that the machine had successfully negotiated the same stairwell previously and that after the incident, another engineer experienced no difficulty in taking the machine up to the landing above then back down.

“Further mitigating factors include that the lack of an assessment was not profit motivated.

“There had been an assessment but it was not sufficiently detailed.”

The court heard that Core Cut Limited – a family company who employed Mr McLean in 2011 – had a turnover from 2021 to 2022 of £5.1m.

The hearing was told that the “leading specialist” sawing and demolition company had no previous convictions and employs 42 members of staff.

Barry Smith, defending, added: “Mr McLean was regarded as one of the most experienced operators in the company.

“It is agreed that the machinery could be safely manoeuvred up and down the stairway.

“However, the pitch on site was not assessed and did not go far enough.

“There was a failure to commit to writing in more detail.”

Family of Mr McLean have since released a statement.

It read: “While the sentence may reflect a degree of accountability and leads to improving safety for others, it does not reflect the pain and trauma we feel following the loss of Derek.

“We would like to thank those around us who provided support and comfort over the last three years but now we just wish for the media to respect our privacy.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code