Dungannon company and driver fined following death of employee

Date published: 10 April 2024

Following a joint investigation by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), Dungannon based company, Contract Services Dgn Limited, and their driver John Fagan, were both sentenced after the death of a male employee in the company.

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The investigation followed the death of 19-year-old Joshua Griggs, who on 8 June 2021, tragically lost his life while he was working alongside a gully emptying lorry in the Foxleigh Fields areas of Banbridge, County Down. At the time of the incident, Joshua had only been employed with Contract Services Dgn Ltd for one week. 

The joint investigation found that Joshua died from his injuries after falling under the passenger side wheel of the vehicle.

Contract Services Dgn Limited was fined £80,000 after pleading guilty to a single health and safety offence. Mr John Fagan, the driver of the gully emptying lorry, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving as well as a single health and safety offence, and was sentenced to six months imprisonment for each offence, both of which were suspended for two years.

Speaking after the Crown Court hearing, HSENI Inspector Gavin Rowan said: “This tragic incident involving a young man was completely avoidable.

"For many young people the workplace will be a new environment and they will be unfamiliar with 'obvious' risks and the behaviour expected of them. The prevalence of accidents involving workers is much greater during their first 6 months at work. Employers must take account of this, in addition to providing a system of work to do the job safely.”

Constable Stevie Dickson of the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Collision Investigation Unit, commenting on the careless driving offence, said: "Our thoughts and sympathies today remain with Joshua's family and friends as they continue to come to terms with his death.

"This was a tragic loss of a young life.

"While nothing can bring Joshua back, we hope that this case shows how important it is to exercise care and attention on our roads. No-one should travel on the outside of a vehicle, at any time."

CCTV evidence also established that Joshua had been travelling on the external steps of the lorry cab on several occasions while travelling between road gulleys.

The investigation determined that no appropriate measures were put in place to prevent persons travelling on the external steps of vehicles. Contract Services Dgn Limited failed to ensure reasonably practicable measures were taken to ensure safety. John Fagan failed to take reasonable care for the health and safety of another person who may have been affected by his acts or omissions at work, specifically that he continued to drive the vehicle knowing that Joshua Griggs had been present on the side of the lorry during the work activity.




Notes to editors: 

  1. Breaches and fines for Contract Services Dgn Ltd are as follows:
    a) Article 4(1) of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978: fine £80,000
  2. Breaches and fines for John Fagan are as follows:
    a) Causing death by careless driving: six months imprisonment suspended for two years
    b) Article 8(a) of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978: six months imprisonment suspended for years years
  3. For media enquiries please contact: HSENI Press Office on 028 9024 3249 or email media@hseni.gov.uk. For out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110

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