Meat factory fined €400,000 over death of employee

Alexandru Coceban was crushed by a forklift truck at Kildare Chilling

The owners of a Kildare meat factory have been fined €400,000 following the death of an employee who was struck and crushed by a mobile forklift truck.

Moldovan worker Alexandru Coceban (22) was fatally injured when he was struck while walking across an open yard at his workplace in the Kildare Chilling plant in Kildare town.

The tragedy was investigated by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) who found breaches of the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act 2005.

The HSA investigation concluded that not all of the appropriate safety measures were in place at the time of the incident.


The company pleaded guilty to breaches of section 8(1) Safety, Health and Work Act 2005 and section 8(2)(a) of the said Act contrary to section 77(9)(a) of the Safety, Health and Work Act 2005.

It failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the safety and health at work of its employees by not ensuring a proper traffic management plan on the site.

Neither had the company designated pedestrian routes or crossing points, ensured the wearing of hi-viz clothing or displayed the required safety warning signs at the place of work.

HSA chief executive Mark Cullen said companies need to ensure that they have "safe systems of work and traffic management systems that provide for designated pedestrian routes to protect employees and others from the hazard and risks arising from vehicles operating in the workplace".

“Employers should also ensure that operators of plant and equipment have the necessary information, instruction and training and that the plant and equipment being used is regularly maintained and safe.”

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times