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Company fined £130,000 after workplace accident claimed life of 38-year-old employee

It was found the company had 'failed to take reasonably practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees'

Court lady justice

A Dungannon company has been fined £130,000 after an investigation which followed the death of an employee almost three years ago.

Phillip Moore was a shift manager at a production site at Granville Industrial Estate, on June 18, 2020.

The 38-year-old sustained fatal injuries after being struck by an industrial loading shovel that was being operated by another employee in the yard area.

Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland, Westland Horticulture Limited was today (Friday) fined £130,000 at Dungannon Crown Court.

The Dungannon-based company pleaded guilty to a single health and safety offence at an earlier court hearing.

HSENI Major Investigation Team Inspector Lee Dougan said: “Vehicles at work continue to be a significant cause of fatal and major injuries in Northern Ireland. In the last 10 years, 34 people have lost their life through workplace transport incidents and 162 people were seriously injured.

“Effective control measures need not be complicated and detailed advice on managing workplace transport risks is readily available to employers.

“This tragic death was completely preventable. HSENI will not hesitate to take enforcement action to ensure workplace transport risks are appropriately managed.”

The investigation established that Mr Moore was struck by one of the loading shovels transporting raw material across the production site.

It was found that Westland Horticulture Limited failed to take reasonably practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees.

Enforcement action was taken by Health and Safety Inspectors following the incident to ensure steps were taken to protect employees and other persons working on the site in proximity to moving vehicles.

The principles of managing workplace transport fall into three main areas, namely ‘safe site’ which ensures effective segregation of vehicles from pedestrians, ‘safe vehicle’ which considers the most appropriate vehicle for the task and environment and ‘safe driver’ which focuses on the competence and behaviour of those who operate vehicles.

Further information on the legal requirements of managing workplace transport can be found on HSENI’s website, including information on the ongoing workplace transport campaign ‘Drive Danger Out’.

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