Londonderry shipping company fined for safety breaches

Date published: 13 September 2016


At Londonderry Crown Court today Burke Shipping Services Limited was fined £15,000 plus costs of £800 for three health and safety breaches.

Scales of justice

The sentencing comes after a Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) investigation into an incident on 20 August 2015 in which three male employees fell from a suspended work platform. 

The three employees were ejected from the platform as it was being used to remove them from the cargo hold of a ship they were emptying at Lisahally Terminal.  The men fell a distance of between four to five metres and each received numerous fracture injuries.  

The investigation found that the work platform was not properly attached to the crane and overturned as it was being lifted.  The particular work platform should also not have been used for the purpose of lifting and moving personnel. 

Speaking after today’s hearing Kevin Campbell, an inspector with HSENI’s major investigation team, said:

“All employers must ensure that appropriate measures are taken so that fall from height incidents are prevented. 

“When using suspended platforms it is vital that the platform itself, along with attachments, are properly designed, suitable for purpose and inspected to ensure their integrity.  When a new system of work is being implemented it is also imperative that it is properly planned and managed to ensure employee safety.”

For more information about falls from height please visit:

Notes to editors: 

  1. The details of the defendant sentenced today are as follows: Burke Shipping Services Limited, Administration Building, Lisahally Terminal, Londonderry, BT47 6FL.
  2. Health and safety breaches and fines were as follows:
    ​    a.   Article 4(1), the Health and Safety at Work (NI) Order 1978 -                         £5,000
        b.   Regulation 4 (1) of The Work at Height Regulations (NI) 2005 –                   £5,000
        c.   Regulation 5 (1) of The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment                  Regulations (NI) 1999 - £5,000
  3. The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body, sponsored by the Department for the Economy.
  4. HSENI is the lead body responsible for the promotion and enforcement of health and safety at work standards in Northern Ireland.




Share this page