Mon 10 Dec 2012 - posted by Total Access


A Fife man has been fined after one of his employees fell to his death through the fragile roof of a Markinch warehouse.


At Dunfermline Sheriff Court today, Boyd Lamont (DOB 13/01/1957) from Buckhaven, Fife, was fined a total of  £20,000 for  breaches of Section 2  of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999


The charges concern the death of 32 year old Thomas Sturrock on 29 September 2008. 

Mr Sturrock, and a number of other men, were employed by Boyd Lamont, a self-employed contractor then trading as ‘Special Access Inspection’.  The men were working at height to clean the fragile roof of the warehouse of Tullis Russell Papermaker Ltd in Markinch, Fife.  Boyd Lamont failed to properly assess the risks associated with the work, and failed to provide his men with appropriate safety equipment, such as crawling boards, in order that they could work safely whilst they were on the fragile roof.


On 29 September 2008, Thomas Sturrock was walking on the roof when he fell through it, resulting in his falling approximately 14.5 metres to the concrete floor below.  He died of his injuries at the scene.


Following a lengthy trial at Dunfermline Sheriff Court, Boyd Lamont pled guilty to  failing to ensure the health and safety of his employees, in particular failing to ensure that they were not exposed to risks of injury or death by falling from or through the roof.  He also pled guilty to failing to provide his employees with equipment, information, instruction, training and supervision or a safe system of work for employees carrying out such work at height, and failing to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of his employees arising from this work.


Following the case, Elaine Taylor, Head of the COPFS Health and Safety Division, said:


“This tragic death could have been avoided if Boyd Lamont had properly assessed the risks associated with the work on the roof, and ensured that his men had were properly trained, resourced and equipped to carry out this work safely.  Work at height involves significant risks and as an employer, Boyd Lamont had a duty to assess and mitigate them.  He completely and utterly failed to do so, and that cost a young man his life.


“Employers must ensure that the risks associated with such work are properly assessed, that appropriate equipment is provided and safe working practices are followed.  Failure to do so can have tragic consequences, as in this case.


“The charges that Boyd Lamont faced are (if committed after 16 January 2009) now punishable by imprisonment if committed by an individual. Duty holders should be aware of the potential consequences for them of failing in relation to their health and safety obligations.


“Our thoughts today are with the family and friends of Thomas Sturrock”


Mac Young, HM Inspector of Health and Safety, said:


"Work at height carries significant risks and must always be properly planned particularly when it involves fragile roof surfaces.  The contractor failed to properly assess the well known risks from working on or near fragile roof surfaces. He failed to provide a safe system of work, adequate equipment, instruction; information and training, all of which are necessary in order that work on or near fragile surfaces may be carried out safely. This was the worst example I have ever come across due to the total lack of safety measures on the roof.  These failings led directly to the tragic death of Thomas Sturrock in September 2008, when he fell through a fragile roof onto a warehouse floor, a distance of some 14.5 metres."







Further information



1) Tullis Russell, the owners of the site, were fined £260,000 in relation to the death of Mr Sturrock


2) In Scotland the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service has sole responsibility for the raising of criminal proceedings for breaches of health and safety legislation.  Its Health and Safety Division currently has 12 specialist prosecutors in a team of 18 based at three units in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The Division was officially launched by the Solicitor General in July 2009.


3) The Division deals with all health and safety prosecutions and any Fatal Accident Inquiries requiring specialist health and safety input. Some work-related Fatal Accident Inquiries are dealt with by local Procurator Fiscal Offices, with support from the Division as required.


4)  The Health and Safety Executive is Britain's national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to prevent death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.

Share this:

Categories: Falls from Height   Back

Add a comment - Please note that comments are moderated before being posted.

Current comments

There are currently no comments