A Stonehaven animal grain company has been fined after one of its workers fell from an excavator bucket onto a concrete floor, sustaining head injuries.
On 9 December 2009, Douglas Mortimer, a mill operative employed by East Coast Viners Grain LLP, was preparing animal feed. This task involved him climbing into an excavator bucket to shake the contents of a tote bag to allow an even spread of it into the excavator bucket. However, he lost his balance and fell approximately five feet onto the concrete floor below. He received a cut to his head which needed to be stapled, and lost consciousness for a period of about five minutes. He was kept in hospital overnight for observation.
The HSE investigation found that there was no safe system of work in place for preparing the specialist mix. The method which had been used by Mr Mortimer was unsafe because it involved employees working unnecessarily at height with no control measures to prevent them from falling. The investigation also revealed that the company had not carried out a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks involved because this was a task that was required only occasionally.
At Stonehaven Sherrif Court today (13 April) East Coast Viners Grain LLP, Broadwood, Drumlithie, Stonehaven was fined