Concrete products manufacturer fined after placing employees at risk

Date published: 21 May 2024

Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI), a Dunmurry based company, Colinwell Masonry Products Limited has been fined for failing to ensure the safety of its employees.

Latest prosecution result

Today at Lisburn Magistrates Court, the company was fined £1,000 after pleading guilty to a single health and safety offence.

The Court heard that on 24 May 2023, during an HSENI inspection of the premises three separate locations whereby employees were able to access dangerous moving parts of machines and equipment were identified.

HSENI Inspector, Kevin Campbell said: “Employers have a legal duty to ensure employees and others are not put at risk from unguarded machinery. 

“Serious incidents can result where workers are able to access dangerous areas as a result of safety features not being adequately maintained, or where they have been intentionally bypassed.

“HSENI will not hesitate to recommend the prosecution of companies who repeatedly fail to provide safe working conditions for their employees.”

Access gates to onsite machinery did not have effective safety interlocking mechanisms in place, which are designed to stop the machines from operating when the gates were opened. One gate had a lack of any interlocked safety feature. On the other two gates, the interlock mechanism was defeated or broken. 

The absence of effective safety interlocking mechanisms meant that an employee could easily open the gates and access dangerous moving parts of the plant thereby exposing themselves to injury, including potentially fatal injuries. 

HSENI served three Prohibition Notices on the Company preventing specific parts of the plant from operating until adequate measures were in place to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery. HSENI had previously issued seven similar Prohibition Notices at the premises.

More information in relation to working safely with plant and equipment is available at the following link:

Specific guidance in relation to machinery guarding for the concrete products industry can be found at the following link:

Notes to editors: 

  1. Breaches and fines for Colinwell Masonry Products Ltd are as follows: 
    a) Article 4(1) of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978, fine £1,000
  2. For media enquiries please contact: HSENI Press Office on 028 90243249 or email For out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110

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