Newry Construction Contractor Fined Following Fatal Fall from Height in Camlough

A self-employed construction worker has pleaded guilty to one health and safety offence and fined £2500 after the death of a 57 year old man on a farm in Camlough in Newry.

Jerome McCaffery pleaded guilty to one health and safety offence at Newry Magistrates court on Monday. The prosecution follows an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive into the circumstances of the death.

On 27th November 2020, Jerome McCaffery was overseeing the replacement of perspex roof lights at a farm building in Camlough, Newry when the deceased fell through the fragile roof structure and died at the scene from his injuries.

Speaking after sentencing, Lee Dougan, an Inspector with HSENI’s Major Investigation Team, said: “Falls from height remain the single biggest cause of workplace fatalities and serious injuries in Northern Ireland. 

“Working on fragile roof surfaces is a high-risk activity.

“As far as possible, contractors should plan and organise work to keep people away from fragile surfaces and consider safer alternatives such as suitable work access platforms.”

The investigation found that on the day of the incident, the 57 year old attended the farm to meet with a family member who was also working at the construction site. He subsequently accessed the roof of the farm building and a short time later fell through an existing roof light. 

In this case, no control measures were in place to prevent falls from height or to avoid working on the fragile roof structure.

Following the incident, health and safety inspectors attended the incident scene and a prohibition notice was served that prohibited any further work at height activities from continuing until appropriate safety measures were put in place.