Northern Ireland

Terex GB fined £150,000 over Steven McTeague death in Omagh

Terex
Image caption The accident happened at the Terex plant in Omagh in July 2016

An American manufacturing company has been fined £150,000 after the death of an employee at a plant in Omagh.

Terex GB Limited pleaded guilty to breaches in health and safety which resulted in the death of Steven McTeague, 51, on 14 July 2016.

The father-of-two, from Loughmacrory, died three days after an incident at the Cookstown Road factory.

His widow, Helen, said the McTeague family "were, and still are, devastated by what happened".

Speaking outside Dungannon Court, Mrs McTeague said: "Whilst we acknowledge the fine imposed on Terex today, it was Stevie and us, the family, who paid the ultimate price.

"I lost my husband, my best friend. Conor and Ryan lost their dad.

"We hope today's judgement acts as a warning to other employers that their negligence will have consequences for them and hope no other family has to endure the grief and pain we experience every day."

Image copyright McTeague family
Image caption Steven McTeague died three days after an incident at the Cookstown Road factory

Engineering firm Terex manufactures equipment used in the construction, quarrying and mining industries had a £300 million turnover in the past two years, employing hundreds of people in County Tyrone.

It had been charged with corporate manslaughter, but the prosecution asked for the charge to be "left on the books".

'Highly valued'

Terex director Paul McDonnell pleaded guilty on behalf of the company to three charges of failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all employees; failing to ensure others were not exposed to risk, and failing to make suitable and sufficient risk assessments.

In a statement, the company said Mr McTeague was "a highly valued team member and friend, and his absence has been deeply felt".

"The company takes the health and safety of its employees extremely seriously," the statement continued.

"We have cooperated fully with the investigation into this tragic accident and will continue to work closely with the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI)."

Standards

Mr McTeague died three days after getting trapped while moving a concrete jaw crusher which overturned on its tracks, pinning him against another machine.

A security guard who tried to save Mr McTeague was also injured.

Imposing the £150,000 fine, Judge Stephen Fowler QC said it was his view the company took a responsible attitude to health and safety, but unfortunately and tragically in this case Terex "did not come up to their usual high standards".

HSENI Inspector Kyle Carrick said: "Steven's tragic death could easily have been avoided if his employer had properly considered the risks associated with the movement of mobile plant within the stockyard.

"Risk assessment is a relatively straightforward process. It simply involves identifying the risks and putting measures in place to manage them.

"In this case careful consideration as to the layout of the stockyard would have gone some way to preventing this tragic incident from occurring.

"Manoeuvring mobile plant using handled controllers poses significant risks if operators cannot safely maintain good separation distances during the movement of such equipment."

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