A director and a company shareholder were ordered to carry out 200 hours community service each, instead of a six-month jail sentence, following a breach of health and safety legislation in the Irish Republic.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring imposed the community service at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on 22 October in relation to a case in which an employee of Blu Bar in Tallaght, Dublin 24, sustained fatal injuries when travelling in a goods lift.
The court heard that on 23 August 2009, Stephen Hampson was crushed between the lift car and the lift shaft. The lift was not designed for the carriage of persons and there were no controls, lights or doors on the lift car itself. Safety features on two of the landing doors had been bypassed to allow the lift car to move with the landing doors open. This goods lift was used to carry employees and management on a daily basis.
Mr James Lambert, director and company secretary of TBC Bar Ltd (trading as Blu Bar), pleaded guilty to two charges under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act – that he did recklessly place at risk the safety, health and welfare of persons in connection with work activities, and that he failed to manage and conduct work activities in such a way to ensure the safety, health and welfare of employees, as a consequence of which Mr Hampson suffered injury and died, contrary to section 14(b) and 8(2)(b).
Mr David McKee, company shareholder, entered a guilty plea to three breaches of health and safety legislation – that as a manager he failed to ensure the safety, health and welfare of employees as provided for in section 77(2)(a) contrary to section 80 of the act. This was in addition to the two guilty pleas he entered on 20 February 2014 in relation to section 14(b), that he did place at risk the safety, health and welfare of persons in connection with work activities, as a consequence of which Mr Hampson suffered injury and died.
Speaking after the sentencing, Brian Higgisson, assistant chief executive of the Health and Safety Authority, said: “This accident should not have happened. The goods lift in question wasn’t designed to carry people and allowing this practice to continue resulted in a terrible tragedy. Company directors and senior managers must ensure that they provide safe places of work for their employees. The consequences of not doing so, as seen in this case, can be devastating.”
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