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Sun October 17 2021

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Client and contractor fined after temporary works failure

13 Dec 19 Fines totalling £20,000 have been handed down to a building contractor and the farmer he was working for after a worker was injured by a toppling shuttering panel.

Antrim Crown Court heard how Richard McClure, a farmer trading as McClure Farms in Coleraine, had employed Magherafelt-based S Higgins Construction Ltd to build him a reinforced concrete wall.

A 23-year-old Higgins employee was assisting with the preparations for the construction on 16th November 2018 when a large metal shuttering panel fell on him. He sustained numerous fractures and injuries.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (NI) revealed that the shuttering panel was not properly secured to prevent it falling over.

Both client and contractor pleaded guilty to two breaches of health and safety legislation. Each was fined £10,000 – £5,000 per offence.

Kevin Campbell, an inspector with HSENI’s construction team, said after the hearing: “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.”

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