Montrose worker died after arm trapped in spinning machine

Andy Fraser, who died after becoming attached to a spinning pipe 'like velcro'
Andy Fraser, who died after becoming attached to a spinning pipe 'like velcro'
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A Scots firm has been fined £120,000 over the death of a worker killed when he became attached “like velcro” to a spinning pipe in a metal spraying booth.

Andy Fraser, 26, died when he became attached to a pipe spinning at between 50 and 80 rpm inside an aluminium spray coating machine at Gemini Corrosion Services Ltd in Montrose on 17 September 2014.

Andy Fraser died from his injuries in Ninewells Hospital. Picture: TSPL

Andy Fraser died from his injuries in Ninewells Hospital. Picture: TSPL

He suffered multiple horrific injuries and died hours after the incident after being airlifted to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee and undergoing emergency surgery.

The company provides specialist coating services to offshore oil companies, coating equipment such as drill pipes with molten aluminium.

Mr Fraser was operating a machine that took in metal pieces along a track before passing it across spray nozzles while the objects rotate.

Forfar Sheriff Court heard the piece being worked on had been treated beforehand giving it a surface texture “similar to coarse sandpaper”.

Fiscal depute Gavin Callaghan told the court: “It would readily attach to fabrics such as the sweatshirt Mr Fraser was wearing. It would attach in a similar way to velcro.

“A colleague passed the unit where Mr Fraser was operating the machine and realised something was wrong. The other worker found Mr Fraser attached to a pipe being sprayed. He activated the emergency stop button but the pipe continued spinning.

“He went out and shouted for assistance and another colleague came and was able to turn the machine off. Mr Fraser was unconscious and emergency services were called.

“The air ambulance arrived and at that point he went into cardiac arrest. He responded to CPR after being given blood and was taken to Ninewells Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery, but died at 2am the following day.”

HSE inspectors believe he had been attached to the spinning pipe for about two minutes before being found.

Gemini Corrision Services Ltd, headquartered at Albyn Place, Aberdeen, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act.