Memorial company pleads guilty to health and safety breaches

A UK memorial company which specialises in the production and distribution of gravestones has pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety laws in Court.

The news comes after a longstanding employee sustained serious injuries while assisting a colleague with the unloading of granite from a cutting trolley.

Mr Kenneth Rennie, of A & J Robertson, Aberdeen, was left ‘pinned to the ground’ after narrowly dodging a piece of top-heavy granite which weighed almost 150kilograms, a Court heard.

The unfortunate employee was left with a “shattered vertebrae,” after he was “struck on the back by a failed support bar and off-cut slab of granite”.

Following the injury on March 6, 2014, Mr Rennie found himself hospitalised – and had to have metal rods and screws inserted into his damaged spine, a Court heard.

The firm was fined more than £23,000 after a Judge ruled that A & J Robertson had failed to adequately conduct and implement suitable risk assessments, with regards to the handling and transport of their granite products.

A company spokesperson said: “Following the accident, the company’s health and safety advisers conducted a full investigation prior to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) involvement and all the recommendations made by both the company’s health and safety advisers and HSE have been implemented.”

“A & J Robertson regrets very much the accident and injury that took place on March 6, 2014 and accepts the findings of the Court. However, we are pleased to say that Mr Rennie has returned to work with us on a full-time basis”.

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Donna Martin

Donna Martin

Partner at Mackrell Turner Garrett
Donna Martin is a partner in the Employment team of Mackrell Turner Garrett’s London office. As an Employment Relations Specialist, she advises both employers and employees on a full range of contentious and non-contentious issues. She joined the firm in 2011 after training and qualifying at Vizards Wyeth Solicitors in London, where she practiced employment law and commercial litigation.