The Consequences of No Lone Worker Protection

No Lone Worker Protection

The Consequences of No Lone Worker Protection

This week’s blog looks at two different incidents where lone workers have died due to breaches of the Health & Safety Act. We will discuss the cause of deaths and the implications for not complying with H&S regulations.

Incident 1 – George Wilson aged 64

George Wilson
The first incident involved George Wilson, a 64-year old farm worker who died whilst carrying out drainage work on a farm near Heriot in August 2014. A section of the trench he was excavating collapsed whilst he was in it.

George’s employers, Rodger Builders, admitted to two breaches of the Health & Safety at Work Act at Jedburgh Sheriff Court. They admitted to failing to ensure a safe system of work was in place when completing drainage excavation works. They also admitted to failing to ensure there was a clear communication policy in place while he was working alone.

Since the company had no prior convictions or relevant enforcement action against them, they reduced the fine from £45,000 to £30,000 to be paid within two months.


Incident 2 – Gary Coutts aged 32

Gary Coutts
The second incident involved Gary Coutts, a 32-year old who was also carrying out drainage work at a farm near Ellon when soil caved in and left him trapped. This took place in January 2016. Colleagues frantically dug away the soil, but it was too late.

The Health & Safety Executive’s investigation discovered that none of the control measures in the organisation’s safety guidelines or in the HSG150 were implemented. This meant the level of risk involved had not been reduced. The farming company Gary worked for – A.T. Wilson & Co were fined £50,000 and now use the services of a health and safety specialist.

These incidents emphasise the importance of employing lone worker protection. Furthermore, the consequences of not effectively complying with health and safety policies and procedures. For more information on lone worker solutions, please get in touch.