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Irish engineers fined €750,000 for unsafe lift pit

An engineering company that failed to install a safety system in a passenger lift in a Killarney, County Kerry hotel has been handed a €750,000 (£658,334) fine after the lift fell from the uppermost floor to the basement while carrying five guests.

On 2 March, Tralee Circuit Criminal Court heard that Ellickson Engineering’s installation for the refuge space safety system in the inspection pit at the bottom of the lift shaft failed to include critical components required to ensure a safe minimum space between the base of the lift and the pit. The lift could have crushed anyone in the pit carrying out maintenance work.

The omission came to light when the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) investigated a lift failure on 9 July 2011 that dropped five hotel guests about 5.85 m to the hotel’s basement level. 

The HSA found Ellickson Engineering had installed the lift at Killarney Plaza Hotel in 2004.

The firm, which is in receivership was found guilty of a charge under section 10 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 1989.

Brian Higgisson, HSA assistant chief executive, said: “All lifts when installed must have the required safety features included and those with the responsibility for the installation process must ensure that this is the case. The consequences of failing in this duty, as we have seen, can be extremely serious.”


Nic Warburton is acting editor, IOSH Magazine

 Nick Warburton is acting editor of IOSH Magazine. He is a former editor of SHP and has also worked on Local Authority Waste and Recycling and Environmental Health Practitioner


  • I'm curious why the Irish

    Permalink Submitted by Michael Keyes on 18 July 2017 - 02:09 pm

    I'm curious why the Irish national flag was used as the image for the Killarney lift report. I could possibly understand if it was a state entity such as the army or government that was at fault. In this case, it is a private company, so why use the national flag of Ireland. The use of the tricolour could perhaps imply that faulty lifts is a common phenomenon in Ireland, which it is not.


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