A farmer and building contractor were both fined at Antrim Crown Court today (Thursday, December 12th) for breaching health and safety regulations.
Richard McClure, a farmer trading as McClure Farms from Coleraine, Co. Antrim, was fined £10,000 (approximately €11,817) after pleading guilty to two breaches of health and safety legislation.
S Higgins Construction Ltd, based at Knockloughrim, Magherafelt, Co. Londonderry, was fined £10,000 (approximately €11,817) after also 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 16th, 2018.
The court heard that 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 onto 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 court also heard that the worker sustained numerous fractures and injuries, as a result of the panel falling on to him.
"A safe manner"
After the hearing Mr Kevin Campbell, an inspector with HSENI’s Construction Team, said: “All construction work needs to be properly planned."
Farmers, he stressed, 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 from falling over,” Campbell concluded.