An Aberdeen roofing firm has been fined more than £50,000 after an employee fell from a scaffolding ladder and died.
Joseph Kane, 56, died from injuries sustained in the fall at Jute Street in Aberdeen on September 21 2016.
And yesterday at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, his employers Henderson and Aitken Limited were fined £53,000 for failings over the tragic incident.
Depute fiscal Gavin Callaghan told the court the company had put up scaffolding at flats on the street, in order for an inspection to be carried out on work done previously, and to see where remedial work was required.
Mr Callaghan said: “While there are differing accounts of the precise circumstances that followed, Mr Kane is reported to have fallen from the top rungs of the ladder, the ladder having slipped sideways.
“Mr Kane fell from the top of the ladder and struck his head on a low garden wall during the fall.”
He died in the ambulance en route to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
The fiscal added that “the company, by the hand of director James Aitken, caused the scaffold to be erected by a person who was not competent for that task” and thereafter allowed Mr Kane, Mr Aitken and a man from the housing association which instructed the work, to access it.
Henderson and Aitken Limited, which has its registered address as at Balmoral Terrace, Aberdeen, previously pled guilty to an offence under the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Health and Safety at Work Act.
It admitted failing to ensure scaffolding was erected by a competent person, that it was erected safely with sufficient protection to prevent a person falling and that there was a safe means of access to and from the scaffolding platform.
The indictment detailing the charge against the roofing company stated that as a consequence of the failings, employees and others were exposed to the risk of injury or death as a result of falling.
Defence agent Clare Bone said: “The decision by Mr Aitken to erect the scaffolding is one that continues to haunt him to this day.”
She added the incident was an “isolated lapse of judgement”.
Sheriff Morag McLaughlin said: “This was a catastrophic incident… No penalty can begin to make up for the devastating loss to Mr Kane’s family.”