Falkirk Sheriff Court heard that, on 22 March 2016, an employee of Bakkavor Foods Limited was assisting in the task of unloading and moving empty food trays.
The trays the fork lift truck was carrying made contact with a stack of empty food trays, which then collapsed and struck the employee, causing him to fall to the ground and strike his head. He died from his injuries approximately two weeks later.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Bakkavor Foods had failed to ensure there was sufficient segregation between the fork lift truck and the employees.
Bakkavor Foods Limited of Bridgeness Road, Bo’ness pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £176,000.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Stuart Easson said: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident caused by the failure of the host company to implement safe systems of work.
“This risk was further amplified by the company’s failure to undertake safety measures including segregating vehicles and employees”.
In a statement, Bakkavor said: “The company pleaded guilty at Falkirk Sheriff Court to a single health and safety breach in relation to an incident at its Bridgeness site in Bo’ness on 22nd March 2016, following which one of our colleagues, Mr McLean, very sadly passed away.
“After the incident, a full and thorough investigation was carried out by the HSE with the full cooperation of the company. The investigation concluded that this was an isolated breach and necessary corrective action and improvements were immediately instigated to ensure this could not happen again.”
“As a leading food producer, we regard good health and safety practices as fundamental to our business and remain committed to ensuring industry-leading safety standards across all of our sites. The Company, its Board and Senior Managers extend their deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mr McLean.”