Engineering firm FG Wilson has been fined £90,000 plus costs after pleading guilty to two breaches of health and safety legislation.
The case, brought by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) and heard at Antrim Crown Court, relates to an incident that led to the death of 55-year old maintenance fitter, Roy Montgomery in October 2008.
Mr Montgomery died after he was crushed between a moving crane and a roof beam while he was carrying out maintenance on the crane at FG Wilson’s site in Larne.
The crane, which was being controlled by a colleague at ground level, was moved as part of the work and Mr Montgomery was crushed in an 11 centimetre gap between the top of the crane and a roof beam, HSENI said.
After an investigation HSENI ruled FG Wilson had not sufficiently assessed the risks involved in |the activity and the company had neither developed an adequate safe system of work nor supervised the activities of its employees.
Louis Burns, head of HSENI’s Major Investigation Team said of the case: “The risks in this situation would have been easily identified by even the most basic risk assessment. Maintenance operations by their nature can be dangerous and companies need to properly identify and address hazards within the workplace. Employees need to have proper training and supervision. Some very simple precautions would have prevented this tragedy.”
A spokesman for FG Wilson added: “We deeply regret the tragic death of Roy Montgomery and have been cooperating fully with HSENI with regard to their investigation. As a company, we are strongly committed to the highest levels of workplace safety.
“We are therefore determined that the findings of the HSENI’s investigation and our own internal investigations, and the further investment we have made as a result, ensure that such a tragic incident never happens again.”