Boss of Denny painting firm sentenced for health and safety breaches after employee dies

The former boss of a Denny-based painting firm has been sentenced for health and safety failings after an employee was thrown to his death.

Tuesday, 12th July 2022, 6:10 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th July 2022, 9:51 pm

Kevin Bowie, 38, appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court today after being found guilty in March of a breach of the Working at Height Regulations 2004 and the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The sole director of the now dissolved Precision Decorating Services (Scotland) Ltd was given a Community Payback Order requiring him to be under supervision for 18 months and to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work.

Previously, a sheriff ruled that Bowie failed to take any steps to ensure that a cherry picker was segregated from traffic while employee Michael McArthur was decorating dormer windows on a busy street in the village of Doune.

Sign up to our daily The Falkirk Herald Today newsletter

Michael McArthur was working in the basket platform of a cherry picker in Doune when it was hit by a bus. Pic: Crown Office

Mr McArthur was working in the basket platform to paint windows on the upper floors of the house on Balkerach Street.

Read More

Read More
Hunt is on for Bo'ness fireraisers

A tour bus struck the arm of the cherry picker and Mr McArthur, 26, was thrown from the basket and fell to the road, sustaining severe injuries from which he died.

Bowie was found to have failed to ensure that the work being carried out at height was properly planned, appropriately supervised, and carried out in a manner which was, as far as reasonably practicable, safe.

No suitable measures were in place to effectively segregate the cherry picker from street traffic.

When the case last called in March, Sheriff Simon Collins QC said Bowie had not informed Stirling Council of the planned work, and had put no measures in place to separate the cherry picker, also known as a mobile elevated working platform, from traffic.

Bowie, of Cumbernauld, was found guilty at the end of a protracted summary trial that began in November 2021 and considered more than 10 days of evidence.

Alistair Duncan, Head of the Health and Safety Investigation Unit, Crown Office, said: "This was a tragic incident that could have been avoided if Kevin Bowie had put in place appropriate protective measures to protect his employee Michael McArthur.

"Falls from height are usually the greatest single cause of death and serious injury to workers within the construction industry.

“Hopefully this prosecution will remind other employers that failure to fulfil their obligations can have severe and tragic consequences and that they will be held to account for their failings."

In July last year, Timberbush Tours, who operated the tour bus which hit the cherry picker, and its insurers were ordered by a judge at the Court of Session to pay Mr McArthur's family £315,000 damages after admitting liability.

Mr McArthur was originally from Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, as was Bowie and the court was told that the two men were close friends.

Around 800 mourners attended the funeral of Mr McArthur, a Celtic fan.

At the following Celtic home game, a two-minute silence was held at the 26th minute of the match, reflecting his age at the time of death, followed by lengthy applause.