Two companies fined for safety breaches after man’s death

Worker died after falling 4.5 metres from a roof in Athy, Co Kildare

After the sentencing, the Health and Safety Authority said contractors must plan for safe working and review their systems of work to ensure that similar incidents do not occur. Photograph: Reuters

After the sentencing, the Health and Safety Authority said contractors must plan for safe working and review their systems of work to ensure that similar incidents do not occur. Photograph: Reuters

Wed, Jul 2, 2014, 15:00

Two companies have been fined €100,000 and €25,000 for safety breaches following the death of a man in a 2010 a work-related incident in Kildare.

Liam Reynolds, an employee of BIS Willich Industrial Services Ltd, died after he fell from the roof of Tegral Building Products in Athy, Co. Kildare.

In Naas Circuit Court today Judge Michael O’Shea imposed fines of €100,000 and €25,000 on BIS Willich Industrial Services Ltd and AB Access Ltd respectively.

Both companies had pleaded guilty to breaches of health and safety legislation.

BIS Willich Industrial Services Ltd admitted it failed to manage and conduct work activities to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare of employees.

AB Access Ltd pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the means of protection – a guard rail on the right hand side of the roof – was so placed to prevent as far as was practicable, the fall of an employee.

On the morning of November 10th, 2010, Reynolds was part of a group of Willich workers who were removing asbestos sheeting from the roof of the Tegral Building Products premisis. The company had engaged AB Acess Ltd to provide scaffolding services for the job.

At around 11am Reynolds lost his balance and fell through a section of roof where no scaffolding had been provided. He fell 4.5 metres through the fragile roof to the ground and died.

After the sentencing, assistant chief executive of the Health and Safety Authority Brian Higgisson said: “Roof-work is a high risk activity, especially where fragile surfaces are concerned, but that doesn’t mean that the risks cannot be managed.

“Contractors must plan for safe working and review their systems of work to ensure that tragedies like this do not occur.”