Nitrofert Ltd Fined €350,000 for Fatal Work Accident in 2019

Nitrofert Ltd was fined €350,000 for a fatal work-related incident in 2019, where a contractor was struck by a moving pallet. The company pleaded guilty to six charges related to breaches of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Nitrofert Ltd Fined €350,000 for Fatal Work Accident in 2019

Nitrofert Ltd Fined €350,000 for Fatal Work Accident in 2019

On May 13, 2024, at Wexford Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Cormac Quinn imposed a substantial fine of €350,000 on Nitrofert Ltd for a fatal work-related incident that occurred on October 11, 2019, at their facility in Raheen, New Ross, Co. Kilkenny. The company pleaded guilty to six charges related to breaches of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.

The tragic accident resulted in the death of a contractor who was struck and pinned between a steel upright and a moving pallet containing 500kg of fertiliser on a conveyor while repairing a barcode printer. Nitrofert Ltd failed to have a safe permit to work system in place to ensure the safety of persons working near dangerous moving machinery parts, violating Section 12 of the Act. Additionally, the company did not adequately equip moving parts of machinery with guards or protection devices, breaching Section 15(3) of the Act.

Why this matters: This incident highlights the importance of adhering to health and safety regulations in the workplace, as negligence can have devastating consequences. It also serves as a reminder to companies to prioritize the safety of their employees and contractors, as failing to do so can result in significant fines and reputational damage.

Following the court's decision, Mark Cullen, Assistant Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), issued a statement emphasizing the importance of risk assessments and preventative measures when operating or working with machinery. "This preventable fatality is a reminder that there are serious risks when operating or working with machinery. Risk assessments must be carried out by the duty holder and all preventative measures put in place to ensure any operator or person working with or around machinery will not be placed at risk of serious or fatal injury," Cullen stated.

The substantial fine imposed on Nitrofert Ltd serves as a strong message to all companies operating in Ireland about the critical importance of adhering to health and safety regulations. The HSA continues to work diligently to enforce these laws and protect workers from preventable accidents and fatalities in the workplace.

Key Takeaways

  • Nitrofert Ltd fined €350,000 for fatal work accident in 2019.
  • Company pleaded guilty to 6 charges of breaching Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.
  • Accident occurred due to lack of safe permit to work system and inadequate machinery guards.
  • Health and Safety Authority emphasizes importance of risk assessments and preventative measures.
  • Substantial fine serves as warning to companies to prioritize health and safety regulations.