Drogheda-based mineral plant company Premier Pericase have been fined €100,000 following a Health and Safety Authority investigation into an workplace accident that resulted in the death of Ardee man Patrick Lambe in 2014.
At a sentencing hearing at Dundalk Circuit Court last week, Judge Michael O’Shea fined the company, who had earlier pleaded guilty to the charges of falling to provide a system of work in relation to the cleaning process, €100,000.
Mr. Lambe died on Thursday afternoon October 30th 2014, suffering fatal crush injuries whilst working breaking up limstone blockages from a pre-heater in a 30m high vessel.
The court heard the 46 year old was a production section charge hand, in charge of a three man crew who were using chisel bars through portholes, to break up limestone blockages from a pre-heater.
The court heard the deceased had called to his two other colleagues asking them to move back as he was striking at a stubborn blockage near him. Immediately after, a loud noise was heard and there was a large cloud of dust and debris fell back towards Mr Lambe. Judge O’Shea heard the victim suffered crush injuries and died quickly.
Mr Lambe who previously lived Drogheda but moved to Dawson’s Demesne in Ardee was big sports fan and was known locally as a big Liverpool FC supporter.
In a victim support statement read out at the hearing, his wife Geraldine said part of her died that day when she lost the love of her life, her best friend and her future.
Managing Director of Premier Pericase Gerry Teeling said the loss of Mr Lambe was devastating for everyone at the company as they had lost a great friend and colleague.
The HSA inspector tasked with heading the investigation agreed with the defence that what happened on the day was a combination of a systems failure and human error. The court was also told Premier Periclase has a very good safety record on site, and a new cleaning system is in place.
NOTE: The original headline for this article incorrectly referred to the decision being reached as the result of an inquest. It is a HSA investigation.