A council has been fined after a man drowned when he accidentally drove his car into a pier that had no protective barriers.
The accident happened in Dunoon in September 2007, when Duncan MacGillvray, 75, had accidentally put his car into forward gear instead of reverse; he was attempting to leave a parking bay on the pier. The lack of a protective barrier being installed meant that the car mounted the edging and fell around three metres into the water below. He was unable to escape and drowned.
Argyll and Bute Council had erected some barriers on the pier, but a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation showed that this was not carried out in the area where Mr MacGillvray had parked his car.
The Sheriff Court at Dunoon had earlier heard that the council had not carried out a risk assessment of using the pier as a car park before or after it opened for public use. Argyll and Bute Council pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
A statement by the HSE said: "A simple risk assessment would have identified the clear risks of an unprotected sheer drop into the sea at the edge of a car park - but sadly the council failed to do this.
"Argyll and Bute Council was responsible for the maintenance and operation of this charging public car park. When it changed the use of the pier, from a commercial site, it should have quickly identified any risks to members of the public. It's simply not acceptable that this didn't happen."
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