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Quarry Operator Fined $566K After Crusher Kills Worker

February 8, 2019
The Harrington Concrete and Quarries site in Co. Mayo, Ireland. Image courtesy of Google Maps
The Harrington Concrete and Quarries site in Co. Mayo, Ireland. Image courtesy of Google Maps

A quarry operatory in Ireland was ordered to pay a fine totaling €500,000, or about $566,000, after a worker died in 2015 from a fall into an inadequately guarded stone crusher, Ireland’s Health and Safety Authority (HSA) announced in a release Wednesday.

The worker, Joseph Harrington, died at the company’s Carrowscoilta Quarry on June 11, 2015.

In a hearing at the Castlebar Circuit Court, Harrington Concrete and Quarries ULC pleaded guilty to three violations of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, including: 

  • Section 8(2)(c)(iii) and Section 77(9)(a), failure to ensure safe plant and machinery, particularly no sufficient edge protection/barrier to the crusher and the area around it resulting in the death of the worker.
  • Section 8(2)(e) and Section 77(2)(a), failure to ensure a safe system of work was in place for the unblocking of the crusher.
  • Section 20(2), failure to ensure the safety statement contained safe operating procedures and instructions for the operation of the crusher.

“It is vital that employers ensure that they provide safe plant and machinery and that there are appropriate safe systems of work in place designed to protect their employees,” Mark Cullen, assistant chief executive of HSA, said in a statement. “Furthermore, such measures should be specified in the company safety statement. The failures that contributed to this incident are clear and the consequences for Mr. Harrington and his family were tragic.”

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