March 25, 2019

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In Court

Company sentenced after death of employee

A Co. Armagh company has been fined £50,000 for failings which resulted in the death of one of its employees at its premises in Lurgan.

telescopic_handlerAlan Little Ltd of Queens Place, Lurgan pleaded guilty after employee Jonathan Peden suffered fatal injuries during an unloading operation. Mr Peden died after he was struck by a palletised load which fell from the forks of a telescopic handler during the operation. The driver of the lorry also suffered minor injuries when he was impacted by the load as it fell.

The telescopic handler, which was on hire, was being operated by an untrained member of staff. The palletised load weighing over two tonnes consisted of a robot and an electrical control box. Neither were secured to the pallet and during the lifting operation to remove the pallet from the lorry, the robot became unstable and toppled over, striking Mr Peden as it fell.

HSENI Inspector Kyle Carrick said: “Our thoughts are with the Peden family. Jonathan’s tragic death could have been avoided if his employer had properly considered the risks associated with this unloading activity. Careful consideration of the risks is vital to ensure practical and often simple measures are put in place to prevent such incidents from occurring.

“Load stability and security are important factors to consider, as is operator training, which is a legal requirement for anyone operating lift trucks, including telescopic handlers. Pedestrians and other people who are not directly involved in loading or unloading operations should always be kept clear of dangerous lifting activities.”

Alan Little Ltd was prosecuted for breaching Article 4(1) of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978, and fined £45,000; and for breaching  Article 5(1) of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978, and was fined £5,000.

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