Company fined €250,000 after fatal accident at Dublin Airport

Gary Ibbotson 09 Mar 2023

Today at Dublin Circuit Court, Judge Martin Nolan imposed a fine of €250,000 on Swissport Ireland Limited for breaches of health and safety legislation at Dublin Airport.

The company, pleaded guilty to several offences under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.

The prosecution arose after an accident that occurred on November 24, 2018 at Stand 111C, Pier 1, Terminal 1, Dublin Airport.

“An employee of the company suffered personal injuries and died when he fell from a height whilst carrying out cargo offloading operations without adequate or safe fall prevention systems or measures in place,” a spokesperson from the Health and Safety Authority said in a statement.

“The company had pleaded guilty to two charges, in that they failed to manage and conduct work activities in such a way as to ensure the safety of employees and they failed to provide systems of work that were planned, organised, performed and maintained.”

Mark Cullen, Interim Chief Executive Officer of the Health and Safety Authority said: “Working at height is a well-known risk across all sectors.

“It is vitally important that employers manage and conduct working at height activities to ensure that the safety, health and welfare of their employees carrying out the activity are able to do so safely. As can be seen from this particular case, employers who fail to do so significantly increase the likelihood of a tragic event occurring to one or more of the employees.

“This tragic incident was foreseeable and preventable.”

In a statement, a Swissport spokesperson said: “This remains a devastating incident and our thoughts remain with Mr. Gracey’s family, friends and colleagues.

“We have accepted the judge’s ruling in today’s proceedings.

“We conducted a full review of our operating procedures immediately after the incident to ensure the safety of our colleagues. We are grateful this has been recognised in today’s judgement.”

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