Farmer and building contractor fined for health and safety breaches

A farmer and a building contractor were both fined at Antrim Crown Court today, Thursday, December 12, for breaching health and safety regulations, according to the Health and Safety Executive of Northern Ireland (HSENI).

Richard McClure, a farmer trading as McClure Farms from Coleraine, Co. Antrim, was fined £10,000 (€11,817) after pleading guilty to two breaches of health and safety legislation.

In addition, S. Higgins Construction Ltd, based at Knockloughrim, Magherafelt, Co. Derry, was fined £10,000 (€11,817) after also pleading guilty to two breaches of health and safety legislation.

The case arose from a HSENI investigation into an incident at McClure Farms, Coleraine, on November 16, 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 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.”