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June 11, 2021

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Building contractor fined following the death of worker on house building site

Nickell and Richmond Limited has been prosecuted following a case brought by HSENI, and fined £40,000.

constructionThe Bangor based company pleaded guilty at Belfast Crown Court to a total of four health and safety offences which resulted in the death of a worker at a house building site in Jordanstown.

The prosecution arose as a result of an HSENI investigation into the incident which took place on 22 June 2018 when Mr Terrence McCloud from Belfast, 46, fell approximately 2.8 metres through an opening on the first floor where a staircase was to be built. Mr McCloud died later as a result of his injuries.

Speaking after sentencing, HSENI Principal Inspector Kyle Carrick, said: “Working at height incidents are avoidable. All contractors must ensure that robust measures are put in place to prevent falls which can all too often result in serious injury or death.”

The HSENI investigation found that the company had earlier placed trestles and barrier tape to mark out and prevent access to the stairwell. The safety measures in place at the time of the incident were not sufficient to prevent Mr McCloud or any other person from falling.

Kyle Carrick added: “Internal openings represent a serious hazard but simple measures such as fitting guardrails or secure boarding may be all that is required to prevent a tragedy.”

The investigation also found that the company had not carried out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and had failed to plan, manage and monitor the construction phase of the house building project.

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Glenn Manners
Glenn Manners
3 years ago

I don’t see that this represents a sufficient deterrent to contractors and devalues the life of a person. It is difficult to convince irresponsible contractors that they must follow the law to protect lives. This in my view says to those offenders, it’s worth trying to get away with it because most of the time we’re unlikely to get caught or have a serious accident and even if we do, it won’t be too bad.

Simon Humphrey
Simon Humphrey
3 years ago
Reply to  Glenn Manners

Whole heartedly agree with you here.

Simon Humphrey
Simon Humphrey
3 years ago

That fine may have wiped out the profit on that build and maybe the next but wouldn’t have made a financial dent in finances of the company. It should always result in imprisonment for the company owner in this instance. Risk assessments must be carried out as part of standard working proceedure, guardrails should be mandatory while working at height. None of those issues would have costed much at all to install on a temp site. Also could this be part of the visit protocols for building control for future sites?