£800,000 fine after 10-year-old dies on Glasgow site

RJ McLeod fined Glasgow site
The HSE said 10-year-old Shea Ryan should never have been able to get onto the site (Image: HSE)

Civil engineering contractor RJ McLeod has been fined £800,000 after a 10-year-old boy died on a building site in Glasgow.

Shea Ryan was playing with friends on 16 July 2020. He entered the construction site adjacent to a children’s play park and subsequently fell into a manhole.

Although emergency services and local residents rescued him from the manhole, he died from his injuries.

The construction site was part of a surface water management project being carried out on behalf of Glasgow City Council.

An investigation by Police Scotland and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that insufficient measures were taken to prevent children gaining access to the construction site.

Insufficient assessment

The HSE also found that RJ McLeod, the company in charge of the site, had failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk of unauthorised persons gaining access to the site.

This resulted in a failure to adequately inspect and maintain suitable perimeter fencing, and install other suitable security measures.

RJ McLeod - A fence near a playground.
The building site was adjacent to a children’s playground (Image: HSE)

RJ McLeod (Contractors) Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was fined £800,000 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £60,000 at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

HSE principal inspector, Graeme McMinn, said: “Shea should never have been able to get onto and play on that site. Security measures should have taken account of the children’s play park and the likelihood of children trying to gain access.

“The company should have had robust measures in place to maintain the fence line that was regularly being damaged and consider what additional security measures were needed to deter and prevent unauthorised access.

“The construction industry should be aware that some children can be drawn to construction sites as exciting places to play. It must do everything it can to keep them out of construction sites and away from danger to prevent a tragedy such as this happening again.”

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