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FIRM AND H&S CONSULTANT FINED OVER DEATH

Risk assessment process started but not completed

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) has prosecuted a pre-packed fuel products firm and the health and safety consultant engaged by the firm.

Laganside Crown Court heard that Hayes Fuels and independent safety consultant Stanley Gibson, were fined a total of £54,000 for health and safety failings which led to the death of 49 year old employee Robert Mark McCarroll in March 2013.

The HSENI investigation into an incident at a Belfast premises operated by Hayes Fuels found that Mr McCarroll was working in a warehouse where pre-packed fuel products stored on pallets were stacked on top of each other.

The method of stacking used by Hayes Fuels resulted in some of the pallet stacks becoming unstable, and on the day of the incident the system of work involved Mr McCarroll working at the base of these pallets.

Tragically, one of the pallet stacks fell over, resulting in the product falling on to Mr McCarroll who died two days later from his injuries.

Must identify all significant risks and develop control measures

Stanley Gibson, a health and safety consultant engaged to assist Hayes Fuels, had carried out a risk assessment of the area and had identified that there might be an issue with the storage system.

However, he failed to complete the assessment and identify the control measures required to prevent material falling from height.

Speaking after today’s sentencing Kevin Campbell and inspector with HSENI’s Major Investigation Team said:

“This preventable accident caused the needless death of Robert McCarroll and today our thoughts are with his family. It is essential that businesses ensure that material is stored properly, and that proper systems are put in place to safely access stored material.

Businesses and consultants must systematically identify all significant risks and develop appropriate control measures. Tragically, in this case, information that was available was not acted upon.”

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