Page last updated at 12:28 GMT, Thursday, 13 August 2009 13:28 UK

Tanker fall death 'preventable'

Coat of Arms
The court heard that Mr Hutchinson suffered brain and spinal injuries

The death of a Clackmannanshire tanker driver could have been prevented if a second guardrail had been fitted to his vehicle, a sheriff has ruled.

James Hutchinson, 57, from Dollar, died after falling from his tanker at a farm in Leuchars, Fife, in February 2007.

He suffered brain injuries, a broken neck and fractured jaw. He also broke both wrists trying to break his fall.

A fatal accident inquiry (FAI) found that even if he had been wearing his hard hat he would not have survived.

Careful and meticulous

The inquiry at Cupar Sheriff Court heard that Mr Hutchinson has been making a delivery at Vicarsford Farm, Leuchars, on the evening of 8 February 2007.

His body was found by workers at the piggery the next day.

The FAI heard that Mr Hutchinson was an ideal employee with Carntyne Transport Co Ltd, he could be sent to any job with confidence and he was careful and meticulous.

The court was told that his lorry had a guardrail which could be raised at one side of the tanker, but there was no rail on the other side.

Sheriff Peter Hammond ruled that providing a double guardrail would have been "the single reasonable precaution whereby his death might have been avoided".

Carntyne Transport was previously fined £5,000 over the death for breaching health and safety rules.

Since the accident, the Glasgow-based firm has fitted double guardrails to all its tankers and introduced new rules for people who are working alone.



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