Co. Londonderry firm fined £150,000 after the death of a worker at Knockloughrim Quarry
FP McCann have been fined a total of £150,000 following the death of one of their employees at Knockloughrim Quarry, near Magherafelt, Co. Londonderry.
Laganside Crown Court heard how, on 13 March 2015, quarry worker Victor Nicholl was found fatally injured next to a dumper truck. He had been using the vehicle to transfer material from the crushing and screening plant to a stockpile area at the site.
The truck was later found stopped with both front wheels lodged in a safety berm around the stockpile area. Mr Nicholl was found on the ground close to one of the front wheels with fatal head injuries.
An examination of the dumper truck by the Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI) highlighted a number of faults, including low brake efficiencies, no parking brake, no emergency steering and no working seatbelt.
Moreover, edge protection in the stockpile area was found to be below the recommended height of 1.5m, although it was sufficient to stop the truck on this occasion.
FP McCann pleaded guilty to two breaches of health and safety legislation – Article 4(1) by virtue of Article 4(2)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 and Regulation 6(1) of the Quarries Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 – and were fined £75,000 on each count.
Commenting on the case, HSENI principal inspector Anne Boylan said: ‘The vehicle that Mr Nicholl was driving on the day of the incident had not been maintained in a safe condition and was not fit for use in a hazardous environment such as a quarry.
‘Employers must ensure that work equipment, including work vehicles, undergo regular planned maintenance. Failure to do so may result in unsafe vehicles, leading to potentially serious or even fatal accidents.
‘Robust systems must be in place to check that maintenance schedules are adhered to and vehicles are in a safe condition at all times.’