Farmer and building contractor fined £10,000 each for safety failings

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A Co. Antrim farmer and Co. Londonderry building contractor were both fined at Antrim Crown Court today (Thursdsay) for breaching health and safety regulations.

Richard McClure, a farmer trading as McClure Farms from Coleraine, Co. Antrim was fined £10,000 after pleading guilty to two breaches of health and safety legislation, while S Higgins Construction Ltd based at Knockloughrim, Magherafelt, Co. Londonderry was fined £10,000 after also pleading guilty to two breaches of health and safety legislation.

The case arose from a Health and Safety Executive (NI) investigation into an incident at McClure Farms, Coleraine on 16th November 2018. A 23-year-old employee of S Higgins Construction Ltd was assisting with the preparations for the construction of a concrete reinforced wall at the farm of Richard McClure. During this work, a large metal shuttering panel fell on to the employee as he was working close to its base.

The HSENI investigation revealed that the shuttering panel was not properly secured to prevent it falling over. The worker sustained numerous fractures and injuries as a result of the panel falling on to him.

After the hearing Mr Kevin Campbell, an inspector with HSENI’s Construction Team said: “All construction work needs to be properly planned. Farmers must engage contractors with appropriate skill, knowledge and experience, and all work must be carried out in a safe manner. All temporary supports, such as shuttering panels, must be adequately supported and secured, to prevent them falling over.”

Further information can be found at www.hseni.gov.uk or on the Farm Safety Partnership website page www.hseni.gov.uk/farmsafe