County Tyrone company fined following death of an 18-year-old electrical apprentice at new build property

Date published: 10 May 2024


Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI), Swift Control Services Limited was today fined £10,000 at Londonderry Crown Court. The Dungannon based company pleaded guilty to a single health and safety offence at an earlier court hearing.

Image reads: Latest Prosecution Result

The investigation followed the death of Mr Adam Newell (18), an electrical apprentice working at a new build property on Tirgan Road, Moneymore, Northern Ireland on 16 October 2021.

Mr Newell sustained fatal injuries after coming in to contact with a live electrical circuit during work inside the property which was under construction.

The investigation established that Mr Newell was working alone and unsupervised within a storeroom in the property when the incident occurred. Mr Newell had been working with a newly laid electrical cable which had become energised, resulting in electrocution.

Lee Dougan, Inspector from HSENI’s Major Investigation Team confirmed that: “It is vitally important that young or inexperienced workers including apprentices, are provided with clear and sufficient instruction, training, and supervision from their employer, so they can understand the significance of health and safety whilst at work. This is especially important within high-risk industries such as construction, agriculture, and manufacturing.

“Risks to young or inexperienced workers need to be identified, managed and any remaining actions required effectively communicated. They may also need additional support from their employer to allow them to carry out their work such as tailored training or closer supervision.

“This tragic death was completely preventable. HSENI will not hesitate to take enforcement action where companies or individuals fail to take the appropriate steps to protect young or inexperienced employees in the workplace.”

PPS Acting Assistant Director Graham Cardwell said: “Prosecutors in the PPS’s Fraud & Departmental Section worked closely with the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland investigators to build a robust prosecution case which resulted in the guilty plea.

“This is a tragic and distressing case in which a young man lost his life whilst working as a first-year electrical apprentice. This shows just how devastating the consequences of not having adequate safety measures in place can be. The conviction in this case should act as a deterrent to other employers and businesses to ensure they have stringent processes in place, especially for young or inexperienced workers, to ensure employees and others affected by their work are not exposed to risks which affect their health or safety.

“The PPS will continue to work with our enforcement partners to prosecute for health and safety breaches in cases where the Test for Prosecution is met.”

For work in high-risk environments such as construction, agriculture and manufacturing it is especially important that employers, employing young or inexperienced workers and apprentices:

  • consider the work they will be doing or observing, the risks involved and how they plan to manage those risks
  • satisfy themselves that the instruction, training, and supervisory arrangements have been properly thought through and work in practice

Further information on the legal requirements of managing and employing young and inexperienced people in the workplace can be found on our website at the following link:



Notes to editors: 

  1. Breaches and fines for Swift Control Services Ltd are as follows:
    a) Article 4(1) of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978, fine of £10,000.
  2. For media enquiries please contact: HSENI Press Office on 028 9024 3249 or email For out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110

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