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Company fined £50,000 over failings which led to death of employee Jonathan Peden

33-year-old newlywed was struck by palletised load which fell from forks of telescopic handler in August 2016


A Co Armagh company has been fined £50,000 for failings which resulted in the death of one of its employees at its Lurgan premises.

Thirty-three-year-old newly-wed Jonathan Peden died at Little Electrical in August 2016.

And today (Thursday), Alan Little Ltd, of Queen’s Place, Lurgan pleaded guilty after Mr Peden, suffered fatal injuries during an unloading operation.

The deceased was struck by a palletised load which fell from the forks of a telescopic handler during the operation.

The driver of the lorry also sustained relatively minor injuries when he was impacted by the load as it fell.

The telescopic handler, which was on hire, was being operated by an untrained member of staff, the court was told.

The palletised load weighing over two tonnes consisted of a robot and an electrical control box.

The court was told that neither were secured to the pallet and during the lifting operation to remove the pallet from the lorry, the robot became unstable and toppled over, striking Mr Peden as it fell.

HSENI Inspector Kyle Carrick, speaking after sentencing, said: “Our thoughts are with the Peden family today. Jonathan’s tragic death could have been avoided if his employer had properly considered the risks associated with this unloading activity.

“Careful consideration of the risks is vital to ensure practical and often simple measures are put in place to prevent such incidents from occurring.

“Load stability and security are important factors to consider, as is operator training, which is a legal requirement for anyone operating lift trucks, including telescopic handlers.

“Pedestrians and other people who are not directly involved in loading or unloading operations should always be kept clear of dangerous lifting activities.”

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