NG Bailey fined for MEWP crushing incident


Illustration of crushing hazard from industry good practice guidance

Building services contractor NG Bailey was prosecuted following the death of Alistair Hutton, who lost his life while working on the construction of the Baird Family Hospital in Aberdeen.

Proving that justice need not always take several years to deliver, this incident took place on  18th January 2023.

Alistair Hutton had been navigating a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) along an unfinished corridor at the hospital when his head struck a metal lintel. He immediately lost consciousness and died at the scene soon after.

The 51-year-old from Forfar was pronounced dead less than an hour after the incident.

A Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that NG Bailey Limited, the lead contractor for the project, had failed to consider overhead obstructions, especially during the transit of MEWPs on site. The assessments in place did not consider these risks despite HSE and industry guidance highlighting them and the available control measures.

NG Bailey Limited, of Brown Lane West, Leeds, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 3(1) and 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was fined £135,000 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £10,125 at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on 21st March 2024.

HSE inspector Graham McEvoy said: “There was a failure by NG Bailey Limited to consider available guidance and the work that was being done, which led to inadequate risk control measures being implemented and unsafe working practices developing.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards. Our thoughts remain with Mr Hutton’s family and friends.”

A month after Alistair Hutton lost his life, the Construction Industry Plant Safety Group (CIPSG) published an updated version of its 2010 Good Practice Guidance for Reducing Trapping/Crushing Injuries to People in MEWPs, which is available from www.cpa.uk.net/safety-and-technical-publications/plant-safety-group and www.ipaf.org/resources.



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