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Douglas Armstrong died after his quad bike crashed on the Philiphaugh estate, near Selkirk, in 2004. A Fatal Accident Inquiry will be held later this year, as he was not reported missing for more than 52 hours.

The trustees of the estate were fi ned £3,000 after admitting a health and safety breach. This was the first time a trust has been prosecuted in Scotland under the Health & Safety at Work Act. The trustees pleaded guilty to failing to provide a means of communication or carrying out a proper risk assessment.

It is anticipated that the inquiry will examine whether or not the law needs to be tightened, advise on how employers can keep in regular contact with lone workers and address the issue of communication. Legal adviser Richard Blake, of the Scottish Rural Property and Business Association, had this advice for concerned employers: “Rural employers would do well to follow the lead of the hill walking and mountaineering community, which recommends against heading into the hills without leaving notice of your route and when you expect to return — and while estates may not wish to impose unnecessary additional restrictions such as this on their staff, this type of simple measure could prevent fatalities in the future.”

The rest of this article appears in 24 January issue of Shooting Times.

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