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Wednesday, 4 July, 2001, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Firm admits faults in worker's death
Court graphic
The case took place at Alloa Sheriff Court
Scotland's largest engineering company has been fined 50,000 after admitting responsibility for the death of a young apprentice.

Alloa Sheriff Court heard that 20-year-old Steven Lyle died instantly after becoming trapped in moving machinery at Weir Pumps in Alloa, which is part of the Weir Engineering Group.

Mr Lyle was killed while trying to inspect a piece of work. The company pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The court was told that the company has now changed its working practices.

Crude oil pump
The firm pleaded guilty to breaching safety rules

Ann Orr, prosecuting, said that Mr Lyle, a former apprentice of the year with Weir Pumps, had been working as "second man" on a 24ft boring mill at the plant when he was killed while attempting to inspect a piece of work.

She said Mr Lyle had climbed on a circular table on the mill, which was rotating at walking pace and seemed to have put his head down close to the surface to examine the cut.

Ms Orr told the court: "The table continued round and he struck the cutting tool, and became trapped between that and the piece of work which was being machined.

Trapped between posts

"He suffered an extremely severe injury to the left hand side of his neck, causing instant death. There was no possibility of any treatment or resuscitation.

"Since the accident there have been rules put in place to prevent access to the turntable, and that doesn't seem to affect either the speed or the quality of the work being carried out.

"Monitoring devices have been installed which allow the work to be inspected remotely.

Weir Pumps pleaded guilty to breaching the act by failing to provide a safe system of working and failing to carry out a risk assessment.

It failed to provide fixed guards round a dangerous part of the machine and allowed Mr Lyle access to the rotating table.

The firm admitted that as a consequence Mr Lyle was trapped between the tail posts and the cutting tool and sustained such severe injuries that he died instantly.

Mr Lyle, of Port Street, Clackmamman, had been employed as an apprentice turner at the plant for two years.

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06 Jul 99 | The Company File
Weir pumps up volume
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