Electrical contractor fined following work at height accident

An electrical contractor was last month fined €5,000 by Kilkenny District Court, when one of its workers suffered serious injuries after a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP) collapsed.

The court heard the electrical contractor was using the MEWP to install electrical façade lighting to a public house. Suddenly and unexpectedly, the MEWP collapsed on to the public footpath, as a result of which an employee suffered serious injuries. At the court hearing, the company pleaded guilty to:

Failing to, in so far as reasonably practical, ensure the provision and maintenance of safe plant and equipment, contrary to section 8(2)(c) of the SHWW Act 2005; and
Of failing to ensure the MEWP was examined by a competent person during the proceeding six months contrary to the General Application Regulations (regulation 52.3) 2007.
Speaking after the case, the HSA’s chief inspector and assistant chief executive for operational compliance and prevention, Mark Cullen said “This was a serious incident that could very easily have resulted in a fatality. Working at height is a known high-risk activity and it is vital that before the commencement of any work activity, employers and duty holders must make sure the required safety precautions are in place to protect those carrying out the work.” (HSA v David Mulcahy Electrical Ltd, Kilkenny District Court, April 2022)

Source: Health and Safety Review