Kilmarnock-based A Corrie Skip Hire has been fined £20,000 after a worker was crushed to death by a heavy gate.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations.
69-year-old Malcolm Macdonald Kennedy arrived at A Corrie Skip Hire’s plant on the Loreny Industrial Estate and used his own keys to open a set of gates in December 2011. One of the 180kg gates came off its hinges and fell on top of him.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed the original gates and gateposts had been installed in 2003, but later extra hinges were welded onto the posts and then packed with metal washers. This had rendered the gate defective and much more likely to come off its hinges.
The HSE concluded the most likely scenario was that the gate had caught on the ground as Kennedy opened it, lifting it sufficiently to take the load off the top hinge and causing the gate to fall on him.
After the case, HSE inspector Lesley Hammond, said: “Employers have a duty to provide and maintain a safe means of access and egress for their employees. The tragic death of Mr Kennedy could easily have been prevented had the gates been installed and maintained properly. Unfortunately, this failing led to the loss of Mr Kennedy’s life.”