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Mother suing building firm RJ McLeod over son’s manhole death at Glasgow construction site | UK News

A mother is suing a building firm over safety failures that led to the death of her 10-year-old son.

Shea Ryan died after falling six feet down an open manhole while playing with friends on a construction site in Drumchapel, Glasgow, in July 2020.

The youngsters got into the site through an insecure fence.

In April, RJ McLeod (Contractors) Ltd admitted breaching health and safety laws

The firm – which said it fully accepted the outcome and ruling of the court – was fined £800,000 and ordered to pay a £60,000 victim surcharge.

In a statement after the court case, Shea’s mum Joanne Ferguson said: “My son is not here and that destroys me every day.

“That totally avoidable accident has ruined my life and my kids’ lives. I don’t even feel human anymore at times because of the grief.

“I just hope this makes them consider site safety everywhere – not just for RJ McLeod but for companies everywhere because the safety of these places is so important.”

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The court heard the site was part of a surface water management project being undertaken by Glasgow City Council.

Prior to Shea’s death, contractor RJ McLeod did not have a formal written system for monitoring damage to its perimeter fencing.

This meant the company did not have sufficient information to assess ongoing risk at the site.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) said the schoolboy’s death “could have been prevented” had sufficient safety measures been put in place to manage the risk of children accessing the site.

Following the tragedy, RJ McLeod implemented enhanced measures including new risk assessments, double-line fencing, CCTV with motion sensors, and manhole covers weighed down by ballast bags.

After the case, RJ McLeod extended its “condolences” to Shea’s family.

A spokesperson added: “We have carried out a comprehensive review of the event and have taken action to protect against the risk of a reoccurrence.

“We fully cooperated and engaged with the investigating authorities and note that the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service explained in court the actions we took immediately following the incident.

“Safety is always our top priority and site safety updates are implemented across the business on an ongoing basis.”

Ms Ferguson’s civil case against RJ McLeod will be handled by law firm Digby Brown.

A fatal accident inquiry into Shea’s death will take place at a later date.

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