Northern Ireland

Dungannon company fined after joiner falls at Galgorm Resort and Spa

Image caption Raptic Ltd was taken to court following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI)

A Tyrone company has been fined for breaking safety rules after a joiner fell from a height while working on one of Northern Ireland's top hotels.

Raptic Ltd was fined £2,400 and ordered to pay almost £1,800 costs.

The Crown Court in Belfast heard that the joiner fell at Galgorm Resort and Spa in September 2014. He broke nine ribs and fractured his left hand.

The judge took into account that this was the company's first health and safety offence in 25 years of business.

The case was taken following an investigation by Northern Ireland's Health and Safety Executive.

The Dungannon construction company, which is based on Granville Road, employs eight people.

It admitted a breach in its duty of planning supervision and failing to ensure the safety of someone who was not an employee but who was working at the hotel, outside Ballymena.

A prosecuting lawyer had told an earlier hearing that the joiner had been working for Harvey Formworks, Glenariffe.

The company was acquitted last week of failing to plan, manage or monitor work on site.

Harvey Formworks had supplied several tradesmen for Raptic Limited, including the joiner, to work on the extension.

The lawyer said the joiner fell four metres and was in hospital for 17 days. The court heard that he continues to have difficulties with his hand.

The lawyer said that while Raptic, which co-operated fully with the safety investigation, had carried out a number of risk assessments, they failed to ensure that the people on site were aware of those assessments.

A defence lawyer said Raptic was a "highly reputable company" and that, in its 25-year history, it "had never darkened the door of any court".

The judge said the company had not circulated the detail of its risk assessments and had not inquired about whether the necessary safety equipment was available on site.

Speaking after the hearing, Kevin Campbell, HSENI, said: "All employers must ensure that proper precautions are put in place so that falls from height incidents can be prevented.

"It is essential that the proper management and monitoring of contractors on site, along with appropriate training and equipment will help to ensure that all workers are able to work safely."

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