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November 13, 2021

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Council fined following employee fatality

Limerick City and County Council has been fined €75,000 following a fatal incident at the Limerick City and County Council Machinery Yard, Newcastlewest, Co. Limerick on 14 April 2015.

The accident occurred when an employee was passing through an automatic gate in the machinery yard when the gate closed on him and he sustained fatal injuries.

The Council pleaded guilty to three charges, including under:

  • Section 8(2)(c)(ii) of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, in that they failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of employees, by ensuring so far as was reasonably practicable the design, provision and maintenance of a safe means of access to and egress from the said place of work.
  • Section 19 (1) and Section 77 (2) (a) of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 in that they failed to discharge their duty to identify the hazards in the place of work under their control and to assess the risks presented by those hazards and to be in possession of a written risk assessment of the risks.
  • Regulation 11 (h) (i) of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 and whereby a person suffered personal injuries as a consequence of the contravention contrary to Section 77 (9) (a) of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 in that they failed to ensure that mechanical gates at the said place of work functioned in such a way that there was no risk of accident to employees and as a consequence an employee suffered personal injury and died.

Mark Cullen, Assistant Chief Executive with the Health and Safety Authority said: “It is vital risk assessments are carried out on all areas of workplaces, including busy working yards and entrances to sites. Identifying hazards and assessing risk should be a priority, particularly in the case of automatic gates which can pose a particular hazard. Failure to do so has serious repercussions and can unfortunately lead to tragic fatal incidents like this one.”

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