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Farmer handed fine after contractor falls 22ft from building

A farmer has been handed a €1,500 fine and ordered to pay prosecution costs of €1,500 for breaches of health and safety legislation. 

The case was brought before Judge Geraldine Carthy at Carlow District Court yesterday (Thursday, July 2nd).

The farmer pleaded guilty to Regulation 6 (1) (b) of the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013, as it relates to Section 77 (2) (c) of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.

Incident

The prosecution arose after an accident that occurred on the November 23rd, 2018 on a farm building under construction near Tullow, Co. Carlow. 

The court heard that a self-employed roofing contractor suffered personal injuries when he fell approximately 22 feet whilst installing roof sheets on the agricultural building under construction without any fall protection or fall prevention measures in place.

The farmer pleaded guilty to the charge, in that he failed to appoint a Project Supervisor Construction Stage (PSCS). 

The role of a Project Supervisor Construction Stage is to coordinate the various construction work activities in such a way as to ensure the safety of all persons on site and compliance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013, the HSA said.

A particular requirement is to develop the Construction Stage Safety and Health Plan with specific measures concerning work that involves particular risk such as working at a height/roof work.

Additional requirements include the coordination of contractors’ safe working procedures and ensuring all persons on site are in possession of a valid Construction Safety Awareness Registration Card (Safe Pass) and, where required, a Construction Skills Registration Card Scheme Card (CSCS). 

Taking appropriate safety measures 

Mark Cullen, assistant chief executive of the Health and Safety Authority, said that this particular case highlighted the importance of taking the appropriate safety measures.

“The self-employed roofing contractor suffered very serious injuries following an incident which could have been prevented if the appropriate steps were taken by the client.”

“I strongly urge all clients and duty holders to prioritise safety on-site and ensure the necessary planning is undertaken and the required precautions are in place.”

“Failure to do so in this situation led to very serious consequences for the worker concerned,” Cullen concluded.

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