Workers at an Aberdeen haulage firm wrote a letter of support for the company ahead of a court case in connection with a colleague’s death.
Colin Lawson Transport Ltd was fined £180,000 after Graham Forsyth was crushed by a lorry.
Mr Forsyth, of Drumlithie, was working for the firm when he was sent to help repark lorries in the company’s yard on Abbotswell Road, Aberdeen.
He stood behind a lorry being driven by colleague Murray Duff to give him directions as he backed up.
However, the lorry shunted backwards and hit the 57-year-old, who later died in hospital.
At Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday, Colin Lawson Transport Ltd admitted health and safety failures, including not assessing risks, not providing a safe system of work and not providing adequate instruction and training.
However, the court heard the firm did not permit staff to stand behind a vehicle to give directions, so did not provide training on how to do it – but that it happened “every day” as colleagues tried to help each other.
Defence agent Susan Duff said: “The employees knew the company intended to plead guilty and wanted to show support to the company and Mr Lawson.
“They held a meeting Mr Lawson knew nothing about and signed a letter setting out how they felt about the company.”
Following the accident on May 31, 2016, the Health and Safety Executive carried out an investigation into practices at Colin Lawson Transport.
Depute fiscal Gavin Callaghan told the court: “Failings, which exposed employees to danger in connection with this work activity were identified by the HSE and are accepted by the accused.
“These are failure to assess risk associated with this work activity, failure to provide adequate instruction and training and failure to provide a safe system of work.”
Ms Duff said the tragedy has had a profound effect on the owner of the company, Colin Lawson – who attended yesterday’s hearing.
She said: “Colin Lawson, who is present in court today, has asked me to state how deeply he feels the sad loss.”
Sheriff William Summers fined the company £180,000 and said: “No family should have to deal with the loss of a life in such circumstances.”