Van Elle fined after man killed by piling rig 


Van Elle has been fined £233,000 after a 52-year-old man died on a site in Annan, Dumfries and Galloway. 

Gary Dobinson, an HGV driver employed by a separate company, was struck and killed by the mast of a piling rig at residential development Hallmeadow on 21 January 2021, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The rig was being lowered in preparation for transportation when it suddenly collapsed and hit Dobinson – who had been hired to collect and transfer the Van Elle-owned rig, the safety regulator said. 

HSE said its investigation with Police Scotland found that “insufficient measures had been taken to maintain the piling rig in a safe condition prior to the incident”.

It explained: “The securing lug for one of the mast’s retaining pins was badly corroded and failed, allowing the pin to displace, causing the mast to topple”. 

Van Elle Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined £233,000 at Dumfries Sheriff Court on Thursday 4 June 2024.

HSE inspector James Caren said: “All work equipment should be subject to suitable inspection and maintenance to ensure that it can be used without risk to the safety of those using it and those in the vicinity. 

“Construction plant are exposed to harsh conditions and require effective inspection and maintenance regimes to avoid safety defects developing.

“The company should have had robust measures in place to maintain the piling rig so that it was structurally sound and could be operated safely.”



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