Two firms fined after engineer left paralysed in Aberdeen incident

Aberdeen Beach Leisure CentreTwo firms have been fined a combined £110,000 after an engineer was crushed by heavy machinery and left paralysed from the waist down.

The Evening Express reports that James Jamieson was pinned against a wall by a 1.8-tonne section of an air handling unit while working on replacing the system at Aberdeen’s Beach Leisure Centre.

His employer, Aberdeen-based Sparks Mechanical Services (SMS), was fined £72,000 at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday for failing to ensure his safety.

And Perthshire firm MJ Ventilation, which was hired as a sub-contractor, was fined £48,000 for its role in the accident.

The court heard the health and safety breach took place on September 3, 2012, on what was Mr Jamieson’s first day back at work following a holiday.

Sparks had been contracted by Aberdeen City Council to assist with replacing the ventilation system at the leisure centre.

Roof panels had been removed and a crane hired to lift new pieces of equipment into place.

While most of the old kit had been cut up into manageable pieces and removed from the centre by hand, workers on site decided to take advantage of the crane by using it to lift the air handling unit out of the building.

The court heard Mr Jamieson has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.

Sparks said the incident remained a huge source of regret and that bosses had no quarrel with the penalty.

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