Company Fined for Violation of Health and Safety Laws which Resulted in Death of Worker

A concrete manufacturing company has been fined for grossly violating health and safety laws-designed to protect their employees-which resulted in the death of one of their workers.

Yesterday, Kilsaran Concrete-a manufacturer of concrete products-was fined €125,000 after pleading guilty to a violation of health and safety legislation that resulted in a fatal accident of one of their staff. They were further ordered to pay costs by Judge Michael O´Shea at Trim Circuit Court.

The prosecution by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) was the result of an investigation launched into the death of the employee – Barry Gargan – who was fatally injured in September 2011, when he was producing concrete kerb stones in the wet cast manufacturing unit.

The wet cast manufacturing unit was surrounded by a safety cage due to the significant risk of injury from the automated machinery equipment. Barry had been instructed to work from inside the safety cage, which was then closed allowing the manufacturing process to be started. Mr. Gargan was fatally injured when a hydraulic arm pinned him against a vibrating table, rendering him unable to escape.

At Trim Circuit Court, the Assistant Chief Executive of the HSA – Brian Higgisson – told Judge O´Shea: “This accident was caused by a deliberate breach of safety procedures and should not have happened. The area was considered extremely dangerous and the practice at Kilsaran Concrete of allowing workers to bypass the safety controls and work inside the danger zone showed a blatant disregard for the safety and health of workers”.

Kilsaran Concrete pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 8(2)(a) of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 contrary to Section 77(9)(a). Mr. Carl Griffin, a manager at Kilsaran Concrete, acknowledged that the company had failed to manage and conduct work activities in such a way to ensure the safety, health and welfare of employees and, as a consequence, Barry Gargan was fatally injured.

Griffin also pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 14(b) contrary to 77(9) of the same Act for “intentionally, recklessly or without reasonable cause” place at risk the health and safety of employees by permitting them to work inside the guarded safety area. Griffin was fined €10,000 in addition to the fine imposed on the company for a disregard for the safety and health of workers.