22nd Sep, 2021 Read time 1 minute

Fire suppression system installer fined after worker crushed

A Fire Protection Group (FPG) employee was crushed and caught in a Kardex Remstar Shuttle XP500 machine while working at Chivas Brothers Limited (CBL).


On February 22, 2017, a fire alarm engineer hired by FPG was performing a visual assessment of fire suppression systems at CBL’s bottling plant in Kilmalid, Dumbarton, according to the Dumbarton Sheriff Court. Side panels that served as fixed guards, restricting access to dangerous moving elements inside the machines, were removed to allow the FPG personnel to conduct the checks. Only a portion of the machine was disconnected from the power supply. When the machine’s extractor device was engaged, the FPG employee was crushed and confined. On his right side, he suffered crushing injuries.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), both FPG and CBL had responsibilities to ensure that vital health and safety information was exchanged appropriately before and during the work activity. Before removing the covers, they failed to confirm that all systems were isolated.

Fire Protection Group, of 28 Mill Road Industrial Estate, Linlithgow, pled guilty to violating Sections 2(1), 2(2)(a) and (c) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £50,000.

Chivas Brothers Limited of Kilmalid, Stirling Road, Dumbarton pled guilty to violating Sections 3(1) and 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £50,000.

“This injury was readily preventable,” HSE inspector Mac Young said after the hearing. The danger should have been recognised. To reduce the risk of harmful sections of machinery, employers should appropriately analyse and implement effective control measures, such as permits to work when machinery is safely isolated.”

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