A dairy farmer from Bruree, Co Limerick, was handed down a €2,500 fine in Kilmallock District Court on Tuesday 16 January in relation to an incident resulting in the death of a building contractor carrying out work on the farm.

On 13 December 2022, a roofing contractor suffered fatal injuries after a fall from the roof of an extension to a farm shed.

The farmer pleaded guilty to breaching a section of the safety, health and welfare at work (construction) regulation of 2013, which regards the duty of a client to appoint, in writing, a competent project supervisor for the construction stage of the project.

Lacknagrour Farm Limited also pleaded guilty to breaching the same regulation in Judge Patricia Harney's hearing.

Ensuring safety is law

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has stated that the role of a project supervisor construction stage (PSCS) is to manage and co-ordinate activities associated with construction work to ensure the safety of all persons on site.

The project supervisor must also ensure compliance with relevant health and safety regulations, the authority said.

“Working at height is a well-known hazard in all workplaces,” the assistant chief executive of the HSA reiterated after the case was heard.

“It is vitally important that employers carry out risk assessments in advance of the work activities commencing, in order to ensure appropriate control measures are identified and put in place to prevent an incident.

“Failure to do so in this case has unfortunately led to a preventable workplace fatality.”