Northern Ireland company fined after fatal work accident

By Gillian Crotty

A Northern Ireland company has been hit with a fine of over £100,000 after an employee was killed in a work accident that the court said resulted from "gross failures to protect his life by his employers."

Peter Lennon, aged 54, died after an accident while repairing a saw at Diamond and Son (Timber) Ltd on 27th September 2012. An investigation found that the power was still running on the machine when Mr Lennon was working at it. The repair could have been carried out without any power or in maintenance mode, though it was found a wire was left in place that would have negated the safety feature even if it had been used. The solicitor acting for the company said they were not made aware of the safety mode for repairs and that they feel the French manufacturers that sold them the machine had "abandoned" them.

Judge Desmond Marrinan of Antrim Crown Court was "staggered" that the company was not fully familiar with all aspects of the machinery used, especially given it's cost and complexity. He held that the fatal work accident was a result of a "succession of errors which are almost unbelievable" and lamented that it could have been avoided if "a simple wire" had been removed. The company has to pay costs and a fine of over £100,000.

If you have suffered injury or loss as a result of a work accident contact one of the compensation claims solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast to discuss your options by calling 0800 840 9289.