Plumbridge engineering firm fined following serious injury to employee

A Plumbridge engineering company has been fined £18,000 plus costs of £1,760 after pleading guilty to two breaches of health and safety legislation.

The case against Waste Systems Limited was brought by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) and relates to an incident in February 2012 where Mr. Raymond McGoldrick, a welder employed at the company, suffered severe injuries to his legs resulting in one leg being amputated below the knee.

Mr McGoldrick was struck by a five tonne section of metal which fell on him when the slings being used to lift it failed.

The investigation found that the slings involved in the accident were not suitable for the job, that they were in poor condition and that slings of different ratings were tied together. These practices are all dangerous and directly led to the accident.

After the hearing, Anne Cassidy, an inspector with HSENI’s Major Investigation Team said, “The risks associated with lifting operations are well known and there is widely available guidance for companies to follow.

“It is vital to select the correct type and rating of sling and to only use slings which are tested and in good condition.

“Staff involved in lifting activities should be trained to recognise dangers and to ensure that work is properly planned and carried out safely.

“Mr McGoldrick unnecessarily suffered life-changing injuries that would not have occurred had correct procedures been followed.”

Today’s hearing was held at Dungannon Crown Court