Director of construction company fined following serious injuries to worker

Date published: 08 July 2024


Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI), the director of a County Down based construction company, Peter O’Hare, has been fined at Craigavon Crown Court after a worker sustained serious injuries.

Latest prosecution result

Peter O’Hare, both a Director and employee of Peter O’Hare Limited, pleaded guilty to a single health and safety offence and was today fined a total of £12,500.

The Court heard that on 12 November 2022, a male employee sustained serious crush injuries as a result of being struck by a reversing lorry driven by Peter O’Hare. The employee was working alongside Peter O’Hare to retrieve a forklift truck that had become stuck in uneven ground at the company’s premises.  

Speaking after the hearing, Sophie Pearson, an Inspector with HSENI’s Major Investigation Team, said “This incident could so easily have been avoided. In relation to workplace transport activities, suitable workplace transport controls must be implemented, with adequate instruction, information, and effective communication in place at all times. HSENI will not hesitate to take enforcement action to ensure workplace transport risks are appropriately managed.”

The HSENI investigation determined that Peter O’Hare failed to take reasonable care for the health and safety of other persons at work, and in particular, failed to ensure that others were in a place of safety as he reversed the lorry within the yard. Suitable and sufficient checks should and could have easily been carried out throughout the duration of the task to ensure that persons were in a place of safety.

The principles of managing workplace transport fall into three main areas namely ‘safe site’ which ensures effective segregation of vehicles from pedestrians, ‘safe vehicle’ which considers the most appropriate vehicle for the task and environment, and ‘safe driver’ which focuses on the competence and behaviour of those who operate vehicles.

Further information on the legal requirements of managing workplace transport can be found on HSENI’s website, including information on the ongoing workplace transport campaign 'Drive Danger Out' ‘.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Breaches and fines for Peter O’Hare are as follows:
    a) Article 8 (a) of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978, fine of £12,500.
  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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