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Director of Newry construction firm fined after worker crushed by lorry

Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

A Newry construction firm director has been fined after an employee suffered serious crush injuries in a workplace incident in 2022.

Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI), Peter O’Hare as fined at Craigavon Crown Court on Monday.

O’Hare, both a director and employee of Peter O’Hare Limited, pleaded guilty to a single health and safety offence and was today fined a total of £12,500.

The Court heard that on November 12, 2022, a male employee sustained serious crush injuries as a result of being struck by a reversing lorry driven by Peter O’Hare.

The employee was working alongside Peter O’Hare to retrieve a forklift truck that had become stuck in uneven ground at the company’s premises.

Speaking after the hearing, Sophie Pearson, an Inspector with HSENI’s Major Investigation Team, said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided.

“In relation to workplace transport activities, suitable workplace transport controls must be implemented, with adequate instruction, information, and effective communication in place at all times. HSENI will not hesitate to take enforcement action to ensure workplace transport risks are appropriately managed.”

The HSENI investigation determined that Peter O’Hare failed to take reasonable care for the health and safety of other persons at work, and in particular, failed to ensure that others were in a place of safety as he reversed the lorry within the yard. Suitable and sufficient checks should and could have easily been carried out throughout the duration of the task to ensure that persons were in a place of safety.

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.

Main image: Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

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