January 2, 2020

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In court

Farmer and building contractor fined for safety failings

A Co. Londonderry farmer and building contractor have both been fined at Antrim Crown Court for breaching health and safety regulations.

Richard McClure, a farmer trading as McClure Farms from Coleraine was fined £10,000 after pleading guilty to one breach of health and safety legislation, while S Higgins Construction Ltd, based at Knockloughrim, Magherafelt was fined £10,000 after pleading guilty to two breaches of health and safety legislation.

The case arose from a Health and Safety Executive (NI) investigation into an incident at McClure Farms, Coleraine on November 2018. A 23 year old employee of S Higgins Construction Ltd was assisting with the preparations for the construction of a concrete reinforced wall at the farm of Richard McClure. During this work, a large metal shuttering panel fell on to the employee as he was working close to its base.

The HSENI investigation revealed that the shuttering panel was not properly secured to prevent it falling over. The worker sustained numerous fractures and injuries as a result of the panel falling on to him.

After the hearing Mr Kevin Campbell, an inspector with HSENI’s Construction Team said: “All construction work needs to be properly planned.  Farmers must engage contractors with appropriate skill, knowledge and experience, and all work must be carried out in a safe manner. All temporary supports, such as shuttering panels, must be adequately supported  and secured, to prevent them falling over.”

Breaches and fines for Richard McClure are as follows:

  • Article 4(1) of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978; fine £5,000;
  • Regulation 13 of The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (NI) 2016; fine £5,000.

Breaches and fines for S Higgins Construction Ltd are as follows:

  • Article 4(1) of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978; fine £5,000;
  • Regulation 19 of The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (NI) 2016; fine £5,000.

Farming amongst the most hazardous occupations

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