Page last updated at 13:40 GMT, Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Lino firm fined over worker death

Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court
The company pled guilty at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court

A linoleum manufacturer has been fined £330,000 over the death of an employee.

Oliver Byers, 55, of Methil, died after being hit by a mechanical hoist at the Forbo Nairn plant in Kirkcaldy, Fife, in September 2007.

The firm admitted breaching health and safety laws by failing to provide a safe system of work.

Norman Buchanan, principal inspector with the Health and Safety Executive, said it was was "a tragic accident which should not have happened".

"The employee was struck by a mechanical hoist while cleaning machinery," he said.

We take our health and safety responsibilities very seriously and are committed to ensuring the well-being of our workers
Forbo Nairn

"There was no automatic over-ride system fitted to the hoist, which would have prevented this fatality.

"Companies should ensure they provide safe systems of work for their employees."

The firm, which was fined at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court, paid tribute to Mr Byers and sent its "sincere condolences" to his family.

A Forbo Nairn spokesman said: "While we had in place a number of stringent safety procedures in the top coat mixing area of our Kirkcaldy plant, we now realise that it was not a completely failsafe system as some of these measures could be circumvented.

"We therefore accept today's judgment. Since the accident, we have invested in and implemented new procedures which will make it impossible for anyone to access the area unless they have complied with all safety measures.

"We take our health and safety responsibilities very seriously and are committed to ensuring the well-being of our workers."



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