Kildare Chilling Company fined €400,000 following death of employee

21st January 2022

Today, Friday 21st January 2022, at Naas Circuit Court, Judge Mary O'Malley Costello imposed a fine of €400,000 on Kildare Chilling Company following guilty pleas to breaches of the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act 2005. 

The case arose following an incident on 15th February 2018 when employee was fatally injured when he was struck and crushed by a mobile forklift truck whilst he was walking across an open yard at his workplace at the Kildare Chilling plant, Old Dublin Road, Curraghfarm, County Kildare. An investigation by the Health and Safety Authority concluded that all appropriate safety measures were not in place at the time of the incident.

Kildare Chilling Company pleaded guilty to 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, regarding its failure as an employer to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the safety and health at work of its employees, in that they failed to manage and conduct work activities, specifically the operation of a forklift truck in proximity to pedestrians and provide a traffic management system that provided for designated pedestrian routes, the wearing of hi-viz clothing, crossing points and safety warning signs at its place of work.

Mark Cullen, Chief Inspector with the Health and Safety Authority said, “Companies should have in place 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.