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Fines totalling €650,000 follow fatal incident at Irish quarry

The HSA said employers must ensure that control measures are put in place to reduce the risk of serious injury arising from vehicle movements
The HSA said employers must ensure that control measures are put in place to reduce the risk of serious injury arising from vehicle movements

Two companies prosecuted after oil company worker is fatally injured at a quarry in Rathcoole

TWO Irish companies, Shannon Valley Plant Hire Ltd and L. Behan Aggregates & Recycling Ltd, have this week been fined a total of €650,000 by Dublin Circuit Court following a fatal incident at a quarry in Rathcoole, Co. Dublin.

The court heard how, on 28 October 2021, whilst refuelling machinery for Shannon Valley Plant Hire at the quarry operated by L. Behan Aggregates & Recycling, an employee of an oil company was fatally injured.

 

Investigations by Ireland’s Health and Safety Authority (HSA) found that Shannon Valley Plant Hire failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, that in the course of the work being carried out, individuals were not exposed to risks to their safety, health, and welfare.

In particular, the company had failed to ensure that there was adequate lighting in place for working outside daylight hours during the refuelling process, that there was no proper segregation of people, plant and machinery, and that there was a failure to switch off plant and machines.

It was also found that Behan Aggregates & Recycling, as operators of the quarry, failed to ensure that suitable instructions and operating procedures were in place in the quarry for the safe use of work equipment, particularly the refuelling of plant and machinery outside daylight hours.

Shannon Valley Plant Hire pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 15(3) contrary to Section 77 (9) (a) of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005. Another charge relating to Section 15(3) contrary to Section 77 (2) (a) of Safety Health & Welfare at Work Act 2005 was taken into account in sentencing.

Behan Aggregates & Recycling pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 14(a) of the Safety Health & Welfare at Work (Quarries) Regulations 2008 contrary to Section 77 (2) (c) of Safety Health & Welfare at Work Act 2005 and other charges were taken into consideration.

Shannon Valley Plant Hire were fined a total of €600,000 plus costs, whilst L. Behan Aggregates & Recycling were fined a total of €50,000 plus costs.

Mark Cullen, assistant chief executive with the HSA, said: ‘It is important that employers carry out risk assessments to identify and ensure appropriate control measures are put in place to protect both employees carrying out the work and other persons who may be impacted by the work activity.

‘Employers must ensure that the control measures identified are put in place to reduce the risk of serious injury arising from vehicle movements. As can be seen from this tragic case, failure to do so can end in tragic consequences, all of which were avoidable.’

 

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