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Irish quarry firm fined following death of employee

HSA

Wexford-based Faser Court fined €175,000 after excavator operator killed in face collapse

IRISH quarry operators Faser Court Ltd (also known as Casey’s Quarry and Casey Concrete), have been fined €175,000 following the death of an employee at Coolishall Quarry, Gorey, Co. Wexford.

Wexford Circuit Court heard how, on 1 April 2016, a quarry face was blasted, checked by the explosives supervisor, and given the all-clear for digging out of the rock pile to commence.

Approximately 20 minutes after the blast, excavator operator Peter Byrne was loading a dumptruck with the blasted rock when the quarry face above him collapsed, burying the machine he was operating.

Mr Byrne sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, whilst another operator received minor injuries.

An investigation by Ireland’s Health and Safety Authority (HAS) found that Faser Court had not ensured that all the necessary assessments, including a geotechnical assessment, had been carried out on the quarry face before the works proceeded.

Faser Court Ltd pleaded guilty to a charge under Regulation 54(2) Safety, Health & Welfare at Work (Quarries) Regulations 2008, contrary to Section 77(2)(c) Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act 2005, and were fined €175,000.

Speaking after the hearing, Mark Cullen, assistant chief executive of the HSA, said: ‘This tragic incident arose from not ensuring that all the necessary assessments were carried out on the quarry face in advance of the work proceeding.

‘This case is a stark reminder to quarry operators of the need to have all the necessary surveys and pre-planning done prior to commencing work on any quarry face.’

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