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NK Coatings lorry

£120,000 fine for metal finishing company after forklift death

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) has successfully led a prosecution against NK Coatings Limited in Newtownabbey, which has been fined £120,000.

The Mallusk based company earlier pleaded guilty at Belfast Crown Court following the death of an employee at the factory site.

The prosecution arose following a HSENI investigation into an incident that occurred on 23 September 2020 when a metal storage rack fell from the forks of a counterbalance forklift truck, resulting in fatal injuries to Mr Leslaw Mazur, aged 56.

Mr Mazur, a metal finisher, was assisting three other employees to turn a large metal structure which was being supported on the forks of a fork-lift truck. The metal racking subsequently fell from the forks, striking Mr Mazur. The investigation found that a risk assessment had not been completed for the activity and the method used to turn the structure was unsafe placing workers at risk. A prohibition notice was served on the Company by a Health and Safety Inspector following the incident.

NK Coatings Limited was fined for breaching article 4 of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978.

Kyle Carrick, Head of HSENI’s Major Investigation Team said: “This tragic incident was avoidable. Any activity involving lifting equipment must be properly planned by a competent person, appropriately supervised, and carried out in a safe manner.

“Employers should be aware that HSENI will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those who are found to fall below the required standards.”