An Aberdeenshire based gunsmith and clay pigeon shooting company was fined £6,000 on Friday 11 May, after the death of a 55-year-old man in Findon, Aberdeenshire.

Aberdeen Sherriff Court heard that in November 2014 David Sinclair Paterson was working within an agricultural type storage shed at Seals Cove Shooting Ground, Earnsheugh Bay, Findon, when he was crushed to death by an armoury door that he was helping to reposition within the storage shed.

An investigation by Aberdeenshire Council’s Environmental Health Service found that Neil Charles Anderson, trading as Anderson’s Guns, 201 Hardgate, Aberdeen, who operates Seals Cove Shooting Ground, failed to organise the lifting operation with regard to the armoury door.

Mr Anderson had failed to ensure the lifting operation was properly planned, supervised and carried out safely. The result of this failure was that the armoury door fell, crushing Mr Paterson to death.

Mr Anderson pleaded guilty on April 9 to a charge of contravening Regulation 8(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £6,000, reduced to £4,000 to be paid within 28 days.

Speaking after the hearing, Environmental Protection Team Manager, Louise Cunningham, said: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident that could have been prevented had the lifting of the armoury door been properly resourced, planned and organised by a competent person before the lift was started.

“Proper planning of lifting operations ensures not only that suitable equipment is provided for use but that it can be used safely too.

“Companies should be aware that Aberdeenshire Council’s Environmental Health Service will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those which fall below the required standards when carrying out lifting operations and using or providing lifting equipment.

“We would also like to express our sincere sympathy to Mr Paterson’s family at this time.”