Belfast Telegraph

Worker fights for life after third industrial accident in two weeks

By John Mulgrew

A man who was left in a critical condition after receiving serious head injuries from a fall while at work is the third person to be seriously injured or killed in a workplace in Northern Ireland in the last fortnight.

Pearce Rafferty, an external contractor working at the FG Wilson factory in Larne, fell around 20ft shortly after 9.30pm on Monday.

According to the Fire Service, Mr Rafferty was left suspended in mid-air connected to his ropes and harness while two fire crews along with a specialist aerial assistance vehicle helped him onto a stretcher before an ambulance rushed him to Antrim Area hospital.

A spokesman for the Ambulance Service said the victim suffered serious head injuries as a result of his fall.

A spokesman for FG Wilson said: "Shortly after 9.30pm on Monday evening an employee from an external contractor fell whilst working at height inside our factory in Larne.

"The emergency services were contacted and he was taken to hospital.

"FG Wilson is working with the contractor to carry out an investigation."

The spokesman added: "Safety is a top priority for FG Wilson and we are committed to fostering a safe work environment for employees and anyone working in our facilities."

Mr Rafferty was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital from Antrim Area Hospital yesterday afternoon and is currently in a critical condition.

Last month a man died after an industrial accident in Ballymena. It is understood a piece of machinery fell on Trevor Allen as it was being serviced at the JTI plant in the town.

In Coleraine a 39-year-old man died as the result of a freak accident when he was trapped by a lorry at the council's recycling centre. Alan Devenney, a father-of-two, died at the Loughanhill industrial estate on July 22.

Earlier last month Linden Foods was fined £25,000 over an accident which left one of its employees with serious hand injuries.

Lucas Da Costa (42) was struck by falling pallets at the factory in Dungannon in February 2010. The company pleaded guilty to breaches of health and safety.

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