A blacksmith had to have part of his leg amputated after he was almost killed in a horrific accident at a Dundee engineering firm.
Kenneth McIntosh suffers “constant pain” after being seriously injured in the accident at D Copeland Engineering on Noble Road, West Gourdie Industrial Estate in June, 2017.
The company is now facing a hefty fine after pleading guilty to breaching health and safety regulations which led to Mr McIntosh’s injuries.
Mr McIntosh was injured after he and a colleague tried to turn the insecure seabed platform that they were working on.
The lower part of Mr McIntosh’s right leg up to the knee had to be amputated, as well as part of his left foot.
Devastating effect on victim’s life
Dundee Sheriff Court heard Mr McIntosh, who worked for the firm for several years on an ad-hoc basis, underwent four operations and remained in Ninewells Hospital for three months.
Work on the platform had been carried out over several days prior to the accident.
Fiscal depute Nicola Gillespie said: “After about 10 minutes of welding, both men felt it moving and Mr McIntosh’s colleague was able to move clear but Mr McIntosh was unable to move quickly enough down to the position where he had been working.
“Other members of staff acted quickly and an ambulance was called for.
“Mr McIntosh remained in hospital until September 8, 2017.
“He remains in constant pain and does not anticipate any improvement.
“He has to sleep downstairs in the living room and will not be able to work again as a blacksmith.”
An investigation was launched by the Health and Safety Executive which concluded that the company should not have been using forklifts as temporary supports when working underneath the platform.
Company expresses ‘deep regrets’
The company pled guilty to failing to ensure the health and safety of employees between June 19 and 23, 2017.
The firm admitted failing to provide and maintain a safe system of work for turning and supporting dolphin jackets – marine structures for mooring points – then being fabricated and welded by their employees.
On June 23, 2017, one of the dolphin jackets moved in an uncontrolled manner and trapped Mr McIntosh beneath, causing him severe injury, permanent disfigurement and permanent impairment.
The court was told how Mr McIntosh was compensated financially by the company following the accident.
Solicitor advocate Mark Donaldson, defending, said: “The company recognises and fully accepted the collegiate way of working for many years led to a degree of complacency.
“The company deeply regrets that Mr McIntosh suffered such injuries and it has significantly affected all of those involved.
“The company have a good safety record.
“They have always consulted with employees on matters of health and safety.
“They reacted appropriately to what has happened and have taken steps to prevent reoccurrence.”
Sheriff Paul Brown deferred sentence on the case until later this month.
Mr McIntosh did not want to comment.