A judge has fined a Newtownstewart-based company and self-employed contractor for health and safety failings.
The HSENI successfully led prosecutions against Mr William (Liam) McColgan, a self-employed contractor, and Riverview Farms LTD of Deerpark Road, Newtownstewart.
The prosecutions follow construction work at a farm, where two workers fell while working at height.
Both appeared before Dungannon Crown Court on Thursday, September 30th, 2021.
Breaches and fines for William McColgan as follows:
- Article 5(2), of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978, fine £600;
Breaches and fines for Riverview Farms Limited are as follows:
- Article 5(1) of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978, fine £6,000.
Two workers injured
An investigation by HSENI found that on January 27th, 2017, while work was underway to dismantle a farm building Riverview Farms Limited owned, an unsecured working platform, which was being used to access the roof structure, fell from the forks of a telescopic handler operated by Mr McColgan.
Two workers who were standing within the working platform fell to the ground. Whilst both workers were injured, one suffered life-changing injuries.
HSENI principal inspector, Kyle Carrick said:
“The circumstances of this incident highlight again the importance of careful planning and co-operation between client and contractor.”
“The identification and implementation of safe working practices are vital to ensure that the safety of workers is maintained when working at height.”
Riverview Farms Limited, the commercial client for whom the work was taking place, failed to monitor how the work was conducted on-site, and ultimately ensure the health and safety of any workers.
The investigation also focused on the use and suitability of the working platform during the dismantling of the farm building.
Furthermore, the platform, which was of a non-integrated type, had not been secured to the telescopic handler at the time of the incident.
Working at heights
Commenting on the risks associated with working at heights, Kyle Carrick continued:
“Equipment such as telescopic handlers or forklift trucks when used with work platforms must be suitable for the task.”
“Working platforms that have fully integrated controls are the standard expected across all industry sectors. They ensure that the person in the platform has control over its movement at all times.”
“Non-integrated working platforms must always be properly secured. Any tilt and side shift mechanisms on fork trucks must be locked, and operators should be appropriately trained.”
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