A Northern Ireland farming company has been fined £187,500 and will have to pay £13,000 costs following the tragic death of a young farm worker in Tynan, County Armagh.
The victim had been working on a pig farm in November 2010 when he was hit by a bin that had fallen off a forklift being driven by a director of the company.
The fine is the first of its kind used in relation to new corporate manslaughter legislation in which companies can be deemed responsible for serious failures as a result of a gross breach of care.
A representative from the Health and Safety Authority said the case ‘highlights the importance of managing health and safety’. He continued: “The judgement sends a clear message to the directors in Northern Ireland, whether of a small or large organisation, that they should take health and safety seriously. This new corporate manslaughter legislation clarifies the criminal liabilities of companies where serious failures in the management of health and safety result in a fatality.”
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Farms and other agricultural businesses across the UK certainly need to take better precautions to prevent workers suffering injuries following accidents at work. New figures for the number of workers who were fatally injured in the agriculture sector have been released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and they show that Agriculture has one of the worst fatal accident and occupational ill health records of any major employment sector.
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Published 15th May 2012.