Health and safety award

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A man who lost his family in a car accident has been recognised for his work in trying to improve mobile crane safety.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) North East of Scotland Branch awarded Barry Copeland its Certificate of Merit for his work campaigning for better mobile crane safety.

His wife and two daughters were killed on January 9, 2008 when their car crashed into another on the A92, near St Cyrus, after hitting hydraulic oil which it is thought had leaked from a hole in a mobile crane’s suspension hose.

A teacher from Johnshaven, Barry is now lobbying Government to introduce MOTs for mobile cranes.

He is also urging manufacturers to give better guidance on maintenance and lifespans of hydraulic hoses, and calling for better inspection forms which emphasise that six-month lifting equipment examinations don’t include checks on vehicle roadworthiness.

Barry said: “It’s an honour to be nominated for this award, as I feel it’s some kind of recognition that what I’ve been campaigning for is right.

“Every time I see a large mobile crane travelling on a road - a common occurrence even on dual carriageways and motorways - I’m reminded how bizarre it is that they aren’t required to have a MOT.

“In fact, the Department of Transport estimates that there are some 40,000 vehicles on the UK’s roads which are exempt from annual testing.

“All work-related vehicles using Scotland’s roads should be subject to the same checks and proper MOTs, which reduce the risk faulty parts and equipment might present to other drivers.

“I just want to try to reduce the chances of the same thing happening to somebody else and hopefully make Scotland’s roads a little safer in the future.”