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February 3, 2022

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Company fined following employee death in forklift crush incident

A chilling company has been fined €400,000 following guilty pleas to breaching the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.

An employee was fatally injured when he was struck and crushed by a mobile forklift truck whilst he was walking across an open yard at his workplace at the Kildare Chilling plant, Old Dublin Road, Curraghfarm, County Kildare, on 15 February 2018. An investigation by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) concluded that all appropriate safety measures were not in place at the time of the incident.

Kildare Chilling Company pleaded guilty to Section 8(1) Safety, Health and Work Act 2005 and Section 8(2)(a) of the said Act contrary to section 77(9)(a) of the Safety, Health and Work Act 2005, regarding its failure as an employer to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the safety and health at work of its employees, in that they failed to manage and conduct work activities, specifically:

  • the operation of a forklift truck in proximity to pedestrians
  • providing a traffic management system that allowed for designated pedestrian routes
  • the wearing of hi-vis clothing
  • crossing points
  • safety warning signs at its place of work.

Mark Cullen, Chief Inspector with the Health and Safety Authority said, “Companies should have in place safe systems of work and traffic management systems that provide for designated pedestrian routes to protect employees and others from the hazard and risks arising from vehicles operating in the workplace. Employers should also ensure that operators of plant and equipment have the necessary information, instruction and training and that the plant and equipment being used is regularly maintained and safe.”

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