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17 May 2022

Kildare company fined €400,000 for health and safety breaches over the death of a worker

Kildare company  fined €400,000 for health and safety breaches over the death of a worker

The late Alexandru Coceban

Kildare Chilling Company in Kildare town has been fined €400,000 after it pleaded guilty to breaches of the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act 2005 over the death of a worker in 2018.

Judge Mary O'Malley Costello imposed the fine at Naas Circuit Court.

The case arose following an incident on February 15, 2018 when Moldovan employee Alexandru Coceban (22) was fatally injured when he was struck and crushed by a mobile forklift truck whilst he was walking across an open yard at his workplace at the Kildare Chilling plant.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Authority concluded that all appropriate safety measures were not in place at the time of the incident.

Kildare Chilling Company pleaded guilty to Section 8(1) Safety, Health and Work Act 2005 and Section 8(2)(a) of the said Act contrary to section 77(9)(a) of the Safety, Health and Work Act 2005, regarding its failure as an employer to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the safety and health at work of its employees, in that they failed to manage and conduct work activities, specifically the operation of a forklift truck in proximity to pedestrians and provide a traffic management system that provided for designated pedestrian routes, the wearing of hi-viz clothing, crossing points and safety warning signs at its place of work.

Mark Cullen, Chief Inspector with the Health and Safety Authority said: “Companies should have in place safe systems of work and traffic management systems that provide for designated pedestrian routes to protect employees and others from the hazard and risks arising from vehicles operating in the workplace.

"Employers should also ensure that operators of plant and equipment have the necessary information, instruction and training and that the plant and equipment being used is regularly maintained and safe." 

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