Date: 10 June 2011
Friday 10th June: Miskelly Brothers Ltd. and its health and safety consultant Steven Jones were today fined a total of £54,000 plus costs, after both pleaded guilty to breaches of health and safety legislation following an earlier hearing at Downpatrick Crown Court on Tuesday 10th May.
The case arose out of an incident on 7th September 2009 at Miskelly Brothers Ltd block making yard at Moss Road, Ballygowan, when an employee of the company, Mr Norman McCord, was fatally crushed when making adjustments to a block strapping machine.
Miskelly Brothers Ltd, the owner of the block making yard, was fined a total of £50,000. Steven Jones, trading as Hazron Safety Services, was acting as a health and safety consultant for Miskellys and had been engaged to carry out risk assessments on the equipment involved in the incident. He was today fined a total of £4,000.
After today’s hearing, Mrs Nancy Henry, an Inspector with HSENI’s Major Investigation Team said, “This was a tragic and preventable incident which happened because adjustments that were being made to the machine were poorly planned. The importance of carrying out meaningful risk assessments, which encompass all the activities carried out on a piece of machinery, has yet again been highlighted. This case sends out a clear message to all employers who use health and safety consultants to ensure that they are competent and accredited to undertake the work required. This is the first time in Northern Ireland that a health and safety consultant has been convicted for a breach of health and safety legislation. HSENI wants to send out a strong message that it will not hesitate to pursue through the courts any consultant who fails in his or her duty of care.”
A new online directory to help businesses find an accredited health and safety consultant was launched in March 2011. To date more than 2,400 accredited consultants across the UK have signed up to the online Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR). Further information on the register is available at www.oshcr.org. HSENI would encourage all suitably qualified consultants to register and all businesses seeking the services of a consultant to use the register to find a competent consultant.
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HSENI Press Office on 028 9024 3249 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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