Tyrone firm Philips Logistics fined for safety breaches after man's fall
A logistics company has been fined over an incident in which an employee fell from a lorry and sustained serious head injuries.
Philips Logistics Limited were also ordered to pay legal costs after admitting breaches of health and safety procedures.
The firm was represented by director Mervyn Phillips, whose premises are at Tamnamore Road, Dungannon, Co Tyrone.
He accepted there had been a failure to ensure a safe system of work; failure to make suitable risk assessments, and failure to prevent a person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury. The company also admitted being an employer that failed to ensure work being carried out at a height was properly planned, appropriately supervised and conducted in a manner which was reasonably practicable.
Dungannon Crown Court heard the victim, John Joseph Hughes, was helping load a lorry at the company's headquarters on September 7, 2015.
A number of flat-packed bathroom suites were already loaded, and more goods, including a shed, were to be placed on top. Mr Hughes climbed on top of the bathroom suites to guide on the shed, which was being placed on-board by a forklift. On moving to secure a safety bar holding the cargo in place, Mr Hughes fell head-first from a height.
He sustained broken ribs, a broken collar bone, a punctured lung and bleeding on the brain.
Prosecution counsel Michael McAleer explained Philips was interviewed and it appeared he did not understand what a risk assessment was.
However, he fully accepted there had been a failure to properly plan the operation. Defence counsel Neil Matthews said his client has traded as a family business without incident for 31 years. Mr Hughes was regarded as "an exceptional employee, held in high esteem."
He added there had been full co-operation.
His Honour Judge Stephen Fowler QC said: "Whilst these were devastating consequences, it is accepted there was no deliberate flaunting of health and safety measures."
He imposed a fine of £6,000 and ordered the company to pay the legal costs of £1,218.48.