Fatal limestone crush leaves Irish firm with £84k fine
Thursday 11th May 2017
From the archive: Just so you know, this article is more than 3 years old.
Dundalk Circuit Criminal Court heard that Patrick Lambe was part of a four-man team that had been employed to clear limestone blockages in the preheater at Premier Periclase's plant in Drogheda, County Louth when the incident occurred on 30 October 2014.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) found that the plant, which manufactures magnesia for lining high temperature furnaces in the steel and glass industries, had been shut down to allow the crew to carry out the work. The HSA concluded that certain safety procedures had not been fully implemented, which led to the worker's fatal crush injuries.
Premier Periclase pleaded guilty to breaching s 8(2)(e) of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 contrary to s 77(9)(a) at an earlier hearing before Judge Michael O'Shea sentenced the company on 4 May.
The magistrates’ court, North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard how on 23 October 2015, a 51-year-old worker was removing leftover steel from a machine called the Koch Straightener at steelmaker Rom’s site. As he was removing the material, his hand became trapped between the rotating rollers inside the machine and was severely crushed, resulting in the loss of the top of his right index finger.
The Beckett’s Foods employee was loading meat at the company’s Moat House site in Coventry on 11 May 2016. He fell into the machine and sustained serious injuries to his hand, which needed skin grafts. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was no safe system of work for using the meat separating equipment, which Beckett’s had not fitted with the appropriate level of guarding. It pleaded guilty to breaching s 2(1) and 33(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act at Coventry Magistrates’ Court and was ordered to pay costs of £10,978.
The victim was operating a foot pedal saw on 21 March 2016 when his hand came into contact with the rotating blade, Birmingham Magistrates’ Court was told. He sustained a severed hand a wrist.An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found PES, which supplies prefabricated pipework for commercial and industrial applications, had incorrectly installed the machine in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The failure meant it could be operated from a position that took the operator very close to the saw’s moving blade.
Jacek Adamowicz was a 29-year-old employee of Hitchen Foods, which is owned by the Bakkavor Group. He had been sweeping an aisle between two rows of waste plastic bales in the yard at 10.45am on 4 February 2015 when two bales collapsed. One of them, weighing 723 kg, fell 3 m and landed on him.
An electric tug was towing the trolley through the yard at JCB’s headquarters in Rochester, Staffordshire on 16 October 2013. At the same time, a DHL employee was auditing incoming deliveries nearby.Stafford Crown Court was told that the trolley fell on its side and struck the worker, pinning him to a stillage. He sustained fractures and internal injuries. The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) investigation found there was no system to segregate vehicles operating the warehouse from both DHL and JCB workers who were on foot.
The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) investigation found that workers at Premier Periclase’s plant at Drogheda, County Louth should not have been allowed to climb onto the preheater’s turntable to break up the heavy overhead limestone blockages. The regulator also concluded that a suspended scaffold should have been erected in the preheater’s upper level to ensure workers were stationed above the blockages. Instead, a ladder had been used, which also presented a high fall risk.
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