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GB company fined for H&S breach in Northern Ireland

Health and safety prosection

Health and safety failure results in £6,000 fine for Bristol-based land-remediation firm

BRISTOL-based Vertase FLI Ltd, specialist remediation contractors and environmental consultants, have been fined £6,000 plus costs following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) into a workplace incident in Omagh on 26 May 2015.

Dungannon Crown Court heard how Vertase FLI were contracted to carry out a land remediation project at a mining site in the Gortin area of Co. Tyrone, which involved welding large rolls of lining membrane together on reclaimed land. 


The incident occurred when workers on site were tasked with unloading a delivery of the geotechnical lining membrane from a curtain-sided lorry. The rolls of membrane were to be off-loaded using straps attached to lifting chains suspended from an excavator.

However, on opening the curtain side it could be seen that the rolls of lining had shifted during transport and were unstable, but Vertase FLI did not put sufficient measures in place to stabilize the load or to remove personnel from the area.

As a result, an employee of the company sustained serious injuries when a falling roll weighing approximately half a tonne struck him.

Vertase FLI Ltd were fined £6,000 for breaching Article 4(1) of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978, and were ordered to pay costs of £1,033.

Speaking after the hearing, Anne Cassidy, an inspector with HSENI’s major investigation team, said: ‘Every employer must ensure that operations involving lifting equipment are properly planned by a competent person, supervised and carried out in a safe manner.

‘The dangers of a load moving in transit are well recognized and employers must ensure that all lifting operations are carried out without risk to those in the area.’


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