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Family of man who froze to death after being stranded at wind farm awarded £860k  

Ronnie Alexander, 74, got stuck in a snow storm at Afton wind farm in Scotland and died of hypothermia after his cabin generator failed and left him without heat or electricity.

Credit:  By Laura Sharman, News Reporter | 23 Nov 2022 | mirror.co.uk ~~

The family of a man who froze to death while working at a wind farm has received a six-figure sum in compensation.

Ronnie Alexander, 74, got stranded in a severe snow storm and died at Afton wind farm near New Cumnock, Scotland.

The alarm was raised after the security guard failed to return home from a 12-hour shift in January 2018.

He was found in deep snow and succumbed to hypothermia after his cabin generator failed and left him without heat or electricity.

Ronnie, from Kilmarnock, died just months before his 50th wedding anniversary.

His heartbroken widow Mary, 82, said her family have been put through hell, reports the Daily Record.

Employers CSM Facilities and site bosses Farrans Construction were fined £860,000 over failings that led to Ronnie’s death.

Exactly one year on, the family have received compensation for their heartbreaking loss.

Mary said the only positive she can hope for is that construction bosses everywhere make things safer for workers.

She said: “The last few years have been utterly hellish. Everything about the loss of Ronnie and life without him has been a heartbreak.

“Now that all the court hearings are finished, it would be wrong to say I’m happy or better.

“I’m only glad those parts are over and I can focus my full attention on my family.”

Mary said she hopes lessons can be learned by those working in construction or remote locations.

“Keeping people safe should not be a hassle or an afterthought,” she urged.

“It should be priority number one to avoid these very tragedies.

“I’d finally just like to thank everyone who supported us but we now just wish to have our privacy respected as we focus on the future.”

Ronnie’s disappearance came just hours after a yellow warning was issued for heavy snow.

Police Scotland ’s Mountain Rescue Team found him alive but unresponsive five hours later, nearly one mile from the cabin.

It is thought Ronnie left his cabin in a desperate bid to find a second site cabin in the hope it still had power so he could survive the night.

He was airlifted to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary but died later on the morning of January 22 – the cause of death was confirmed as hypothermia.

Ronnie’s daughter Laura said at the time: “The only saving grace is rescuers found our dad and the hospital kept him alive long enough so he wasn’t alone at the very end and we got to say goodbye.”

Glasgow-based employers CSM Facilities and wind farm bosses Farrans Construction, who is based in Belfast, were fined a total of £868,000 at Ayr Sheriff Court in November 2021.

The two firms admitted to health and safety breaches that contributed to the fatal accident.

The compensation has been paid to the family following an employer’s liability legal action with Digby Brown Solicitors who sought civil damages against the two firms.

Damian White, partner in Digby Brown’s Ayr office, said: “The heartbreak and trauma felt by the Alexander family is something very few could fully appreciate.

“Throughout the numerous investigations and processes that followed this tragic and avoidable incident they have continued to show and express dignity and strength.

“It should be a given that loved ones come home from their work which is why safety regulations exist – and that is why it is right the two companies were convicted and why it is right they recognise the loss felt by the Alexander family via civil damages.”

Source:  By Laura Sharman, News Reporter | 23 Nov 2022 | mirror.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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