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March 2, 2021

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Plant hire firm fined after employee suffers serious injuries

A plant hire company has been fined following an incident in which an employee was seriously injured when an excavator tracked backwards.

Trees were being cleared on part of a residential site in Mallow, Co. Cork on 20 July 2018, when the excavator on site hit the employee of Tom Lynes Plant Hire Ltd, who as a result, suffered a below knee amputation of his left leg.

The HSA investigation concluded that all appropriate safety measures were not in place at the time of the incident.

Tom Lynes Plant Hire Ltd pleaded guilty to S8(2)(a) contrary to S77(9) of the Safety and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (regarding failing to manage and conduct work activities in a safe manner) and Regulation 25(1)(a) of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013 (failing to ensure that persons, under your direct control, working on the construction site were in possession of a valid safety awareness registration card).

The company has been fined €80,000.

Commenting on the case, Mark Cullen, Chief Inspector with the HSA, said: “It is important that employers and employees engaged in work activities, where heavy machinery is involved, ensure that there are appropriate safe systems of work in place. Failure to do so, in this case, led to a serious incident and severe consequences for the injured employee.”

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