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Yell-based haulage firm R.S. Henderson has been found not guilty of failures in risk assessment and health and safety following the death of a forklift truck driver.
After a five-day trial at Lerwick Sheriff Court, jurors cleared the firm of any wrongdoing.
The trial followed the death of Geoffrey Davies, 57, of Scraefield, Balliasta, Unst, who died of serious injuries when the forklift truck he was driving off the back of an R.S. Henderson lorry fell on top of him at Unst Shellfish Ltd of Baltasound on Saturday 13th February 2010. His 10 year old son was with him when the incident occurred and ran for help before a passing motorist stopped and called the emergency services.
It was too late and Mr Davies died from his injuries.
The haulage firm was accused of failing to provide – so far as reasonably practicable – the health, safety and wellbeing at work of one of its employees. It was also charged with failing to minimise risks to health and safety in relation to the collection and delivery of the forklift and, in particular the loading and unloading of the forklift onto a lorry.
Jurors had heard evidence about the incident and whether or not the proper procedures had been followed.
Director of the haulage firm Steven Henderson had told the court drivers would be given instruction on how to load and unload, what the load would be and what ferries would be booked for transportation.
The defence team said Mr Henderson had provided training to Mr Davies. There were health and safety procedures to be followed and assessments had taken place.
During the hearing at Lerwick Sheriff Court here was also expert evidence in relation to whether the forklift should have been lifted or driven from the lorry.
The jury of 10 men and five women spent about an hour debating the evidence before unanimously finding the firm not guilty of failing to provide a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.
They also found the company not guilty by majority, for failing to minimise the risks to health and safety in relation to the collection and delivery of the forklift, in particular the loading and unloading of the forklift onto a lorry and failing to provide information, instruction and training to try to ensure the health and safety at work of Mr Davies.
SHETLAND’S white fish market has smashed all records for landings this year by a huge 13 per cent after recording its 300,000th box on Friday.
Fishing boats have been consistently laying down almost 6,000 boxes a week on quaysides in Lerwick and Scalloway throughout 2013.
Local fishermen say the quantity and quality of fish such as cod and haddock around the islands are as good as they can ever remember.
A SHETLAND haulage company has been found not guilty of any responsibility for the death of one of its drivers by failing to ensure his health and safety following a week long jury trial at Lerwick Sheriff Court.
Geoffrey Davies, aged 57, of Scraefield, Balliasta, Unst, died after being crushed under a forklift truck, which toppled as he drove it off a lorry at nearby Baltasound on a frosty morning almost four years ago.
RS Henderson, of Cullivoe, Yell, denied two charges of failing to make a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and failing to ensure the safety of their employees for the delivery of the forklift.
A full emergency was declared at Sumburgh Airport this morning when a Bristow Sikorsky S-92 helicopter with 20 people on board alerted Shetland Coastguard of a problem.
The aircraft, carrying 18 passengers and two crewmembers, was heading to an offshore installation when the emergency occurred. Bristow said later it was caused by a caution light being illuminated in the cockpit during the routine flight.
The “pan pan” message conveying a “state of urgency” with the helicopter needing to land was received at 10.15am by coastguards, who alerted teams from Lerwick, Sumburgh and Noness to respond.
Fire appliances from Lerwick and Sandwick were called to the scene and stood by while the helicopter landed safely at around 10.30am.
The aircraft is currently being inspected by engineers and is expected to resume normal service later today. “Safety is Bristow’s number one priority,” the company said.
The owners of Lerwick Brewery are delighted that their beers are now available throughout Shetland – and are being sold in mainland Scotland.
The brewery, founded and run by the Mercer brothers, John, Graham and Jimmy of Rearo Supplies at custom-built premises in Staneyhill, has signed distribution deals with two local wholesalers, Hughson Brothers and J.W. Gray & Co.
These deals will see the brewery’s two flagship beers, 60° North and Skipper’s Ticket, become available to the whole of Shetland for the first time.
Activities outwith the isles are also progressing, making for exciting times for the brewery. The two beers are now on the shelves of retail outlets as far afield as Oban and Thurso, thanks to a deal with Williamson Foodservice, one of the north of Scotland’s largest wholesalers.
The brewery has also secured a deal with St Mirren Football Club which sees them brewing Buddie Lager and Buddie Beer, reflecting the Scottish Premiership Club’s imagery and team nickname “the Buddies”.
As an extra bonus, the club receives 20p back from each bottle of Buddie sold. As well as being sold in the club’s bars, Buddies can be bought in packs or mixed cases.
Brewery co-founder Jimmy Mercer is thrilled that the business is expanding and the two beers are now on sale on the mainland.
He said: “It is great to see them coming to market across such a wide geographical area – and with some exciting commercial partners. We look forward to seeing our market share and geographical reach grow in 2014.”
Lerwick Brewery manager Rhanna Turberville said: “We had a phenomenal response when we trialled 60° North and Skipper’s Ticket in Shetland this summer.
The fantastic feedback, coupled with our growing production capacity, allowed us to push ahead in the confidence we have two great products which customers really love.”
60° North is a golden, Pilsner-style lager beer. The other beer, Skipper’s Ticket – its name indicating the importance of the sea to Shetlanders – is a rich chestnut-red ale with fruity flavour and spicy notes.
The Lerwick Brewing Company was established in 2011, and production started this year. The premises boasts the very latest UK-manufactured 12 barrel plant and a 500 items-per-hour bottling and labelling plant, allowing the team to brew 2,000 litres, equating to 6,000 bottles, at a time.
Its location provides a consistent climate where winters are mild and summers cool. Mr Mercer said Shetland’s that and the humidity, together with plentiful clear water and crisp, fresh air provides the vital ingredients to brew beer with individual character.
He said: “Like all Shetlanders, we have a very strong sense of belonging. We’re proud of our roots and of the beautiful Shetland Islands, and are just as proud of our products.”
The Mercer brothers have worked closely together as a team for over 20 years. The original family business, Rearo, has two distinct divisions – the supply of gas and gas services to Shetland and fabrication of laminated panels and solid surface materials to both the construction industry and the domestic market – producing a combined turnover of nearly £10m.
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