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Safety consultant fined over death

In the first case of its kind in Northern Ireland a safety expert and the company he advised have been fined for breaching Health and Safety legislation which led to the death of 52-year-old machinist Norman McCord.

The Saintfield man was found crushed to death by his son Matthew under a block-strapping machine at the Miskelly Brothers quarry where he'd worked for over 30 years.

Downpatrick Crown Court Judge David Smyth said the very fact that he had been found by his son on September 7, 2009, made the “appalling and tragic death” of Mr McCord all the worse.

“He was in his early 50s, a trusted and highly regarded employee, as is his son,” he added.

Retired RAF man Steven Jones, who set up a business as safety consultant Hazron Safety Services in 1996, was fined £4000, while Miskelly Brothers Ltd were fined a total of £50,000 plus costs.

Judge Smyth, who gave Jones of Ashville Park, Antrim, time to pay his fine, said while his fine had been reduced, it still represented a significant financial penalty, and that while Miskelly's was still a viable company, its fortunes had declined in recent years.

Following the hearing, Health and Safety Inspector Nany Henry described Mr McCord's death as “a tragic, but preventable incident”.

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