19 February 2021
By Tom Collins
Today, Friday 19th February 2021 at Cork Circuit Court, Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a fine of €80,000 on Tom Lynes Plant Hire Ltd following guilty pleas to breaches of the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act 2005 and the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013.
The case arose following an incident on 20th July 2018 when trees were being cleared on part of a residential site in Mallow, Co. Cork. An employee of Tom Lynes Plant Hire Ltd suffered serious injuries when an excavator on site tracked backwards and came in contact with him.
As a result of his injuries the employee suffered a below knee amputation of his left leg. An investigation by the Health & Safety Authority (HSA) concluded that all appropriate safety measures were not in place at the time of the incident.
Tom Lynes Plant Hire Ltd. pleaded guilty to S8(2)(a) contrary to S77(9) of the Safety & Welfare at Work Act 2005 (regarding failing to manage and conduct work activities in a safe manner) and Reg. 25(1)(a) of the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013 (failing to ensure that persons, under your direct control, working on the construction site were in possession of a valid safety awareness registration card).
Commenting on the case, Mark Cullen, Chief Inspector with the HSA, said:
“It is important that employers and employees engaged in work activities, where heavy machinery is involved, ensure that there are appropriate safe systems of work in place. Failure to do so, in this case, led to a serious incident and severe consequences for the injured employee.”