Scottish housebuilder fined after worker death 

Avant Homes (Scotland) Ltd has been fined £333,000 after a man was crushed by falling concrete blocks on a site in South Lanarkshire. 

Conor Joseph Morgan was an HGV driver delivering materials to Shott Farm in High Blantyre, a site overseen by Avant Homes (Scotland) Ltd, when the incident happened in April 2017. 

The 45-year-old was crushed as the concrete blocks were being unloaded from a trailer using an excavator with a pallet form attachment, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). 

In a statement, the regulator explained: “The length of the pallet forks fitted to the excavator exceeded the width of the pallet being unloaded.

“As the pallet was being lifted the forks caught a second pallet of concrete blocks causing them to topple from the edge of the trailer and onto Mr Morgan.” 

The HSE said that as principal contractor for the site, Avant Homes (Scotland) Ltd “should have ensured there was a safe system of work for the unloading of the delivery vehicle”.

It also found that Morgan’s employer, Regen Waste Ltd, “had not carried out a suitable and sufficient assessment of risk for the drivers delivering to remote sites not under its control”. 

Avant Homes (Scotland) Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £333,000. 

Regen Waste Ltd of Newry, County Down pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(1)a of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and was fined £23,000.

HSE principal inspector Graeme McMinn said: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by a failure of the principal contractor to implement a safe system of work.

“The employer also failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of risk.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

HSE guidance on the safe loading and unloading of vehicles at can be viewed here. 

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