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A fatal accident at the premises of an animal feed company in Scotland was deemed "entirely foreseeable" by a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector.

In the accident which occurred in February 2011, a 33-year-old employee of Transpan Limited was buried under tonnes of wheat which fell from a lorry he was helping to unload.

HSE inspectors found that an elasticated rope had been used to manipulate the controls which allowed the back of the lorry to rise and tip forward.

The controls should have been operated by hand and were positioned in such a place so as to safeguard against workplace accidents of this sort occurring by keeping the operator away from the tail section of the lorry.

The worker became buried in nearly ten tonnes of wheat when the tipper began to rise before he had completed releasing catches on the back door of the vehicle.

Emergency services used a digger to try to free the man, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The elasticated cord used to operate controls was not the only instance of devices used to "defeat the safety function of lorries"; other examples were found on site.

Transpan (Scotland) Limited pleaded guilty to a charge brought under Sections 2 and 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The £80,000 fine was issued by Inverness Sheriff Court.


Our thoughts are with the employee's family at this difficult time.

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