Galway firm fined €22,500 after fatal workplace incident


A Galway company has been fined a total of €22,500 after pleading guilty to breaches of health and safety regulations, following the death of an employee in 2015.

Forde Dismantlers Limited is based in Corrandulla, Co Galway.

The charge against the firm was brought after an investigation by the Health and Safety Authority into the death of employee Joseph Fahy on 22 July 2015.

The company pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of Mr Fahy.

He died from injuries sustained when he became trapped between a truck and a forklift.

Galway Circuit Criminal Court heard that he was due to carry out the removal of a suspension spring along with a colleague but had started the task on his own.

There were no witnesses to the accident.

The court heard that another spring had been removed from the same vehicle without incident, some days before the fatal accident.

Judge Rory McCabe said his task was to determine the extent of criminal liability on the part of the company and to consider the extent to which this was responsible for Mr Fahy’s death.

He described the incident as a tragic occurrence but said it was difficult to attribute significant blame.

Having reviewed the evidence, he said he was imposing a fine of €15,000, along with an additional charge of €7,500 to cover the costs of the investigation.

The judge said he realised this sum might seem small in light of the loss of life but that it reflected the balance of justice regarding the blameworthiness of Forde Dismantlers Ltd.

The court was told the company was enormously remorseful about the circumstances that led to the fatal incident.

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