Page last updated at 14:09 GMT, Tuesday, 14 October 2008 15:09 UK

Company guilty over electrocution

Michael Adamson
Michael Adamson touched a live wire while working at construction site

A Scottish engineering company is facing a substantial fine following the death of an electrician on a construction site in Dundee.

Mitie Engineering Services (Edinburgh) Ltd has been found guilty of breaching health and safety laws.

Michael Adamson, 26, from Bo'ness, was killed while working on a live wire which had been marked "not in use" at a JJB fitness centre in 2005.

The company will be sentenced at Dundee Sheriff Court next week.

Last week, three of the company's senior employees walked free from court after being told they had no case to answer over Mr Adamson's death.

In a statement, the electrician's family gave this message to the firm and employees: "Know that every time we see a Mitie Engineering silver-grey van, we think of the private ambulance of the same colour which brought the body of a loving son, brother and fiance from a Dundee mortuary to an Edinburgh funeral director's.

"And we hope for the sake of all families like ours that never again will one of your employees leave home in a works' van and return in one belonging to an undertaker.

The STUC remains concerned that not a single director or manager in Scotland has been convicted under Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act in the last five years
Ian Tasker
STUC

"So, to all who can make a difference to health and safety standards - be you a director, manager, supervisor or fellow employee and in whatever industry you operate - we urge you to take action before it's too late.

"Because, no court case or penalty imposed by the courts will bring Michael back from his final journey to a far too early grave. And, be in no doubt that today marks the start of the longest journey for us - the rest of our lives without the loved one who should have outlived us all."

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) welcomed the guilty verdict but said individual managers should be held to account after deaths at work.

Ian Tasker, STUC assistant secretary, said: "Yet again we witness a bereaved family left cheated by a justice system that appears powerless to punish those who take management decisions which place the lives of their workers at risk.

"Clearly a company is incapable of taking decisions on health and safety management and we believe statutory duties, not guidance, is required to ensure company directors and senior managers take their responsibilities seriously.

"The STUC remains concerned that not a single director or manager in Scotland has been convicted under Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act in the last five years while 61 breaches of this regulation have been successfully prosecuted in England and Wales."




SEE ALSO
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Deadly cable 'clearly labelled'
18 Sep 08 |  Tayside and Central
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16 Sep 08 |  Tayside and Central

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