The worker who was killed was operating as a banks man to the operator of the Cherry Picker. Due to unexplained circumstances, the slow moving Cherry Picker hit the banksman and the front wheel crossed him, resulting in his death.
The task of the banksman was to ensure that pedestrians stayed out of the way of the Cherry Picker while it was in operation. The findings also uncovered that the Safety Manual for the machine in which the college had rented to carry out work on campus clearly outlined that the Cherry Picker had a blind spot for the operator. The blind spot could be greatly reduced if the operator basket was raised to a particular height and not left at its lowest level, which it was found to be, at the time of the accident.
Under inspection, the systems of work detailed in the Universities Safety Statement required a Risk Assessment to be carried out. The person who was given this responsibility had not been trained in carrying out this duty, and that the general assumption among workers was that a permit to work was not required.
The Circuit Court Judge found that the University failed to Manage and conduct work activity, namely the movement of a MEWP across the college campus, as a consequence of which an employee (the banksman) suffered personal injury and died(Contrary to the SHWW Act 2005, sections 8(1)and 8(2)(c). They also failed to Implement a safe system of work for the movement of a MEWP, as a consequence of which an employee suffered personal injury and died (contrary to the SHWW Act 2005, sections 8(1) and 8(2)(c).
Imposing sentenence, Judge McDonagh said there was two offences. The University failed to carry out a complete risk assessment, or if they did, they failed to write it up in a safety statement in relation to the movement of vehicles across the campus. He fined the college €80,000 and ordered it to pay the HSA ‘s costs of €4000
(DPP for HSA v University College Cork, Cork Circuit Criminal Court, November 2015)
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