13 March 2008 Edition
Nuacht na nOibrithe
Belfast building collapse injures six workers
SIX construction workers in Belfast escaped death but suffered broken limbs and fractures this week when part of an office block under construction collapsed.
The injured workers were taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital and all are said to be in a stable condition.
The collapse occurred after the workers were pouring concrete on to a second-floor decking which collapsed, plunging the workers 30 feet to the ground. Many of them were trapped under scaffolding, rubble and heavy machinery.
Turkington Construction, which employs the workers, said it “deeply regrets” the incident and are working with the Health and Safety Executive to establish the exact cause of the incident.
Regional Organiser for trade union UCATT Michael Kiddle said that the latest accident underlines how dangerous the construction industry still is and said that the level of accidents and workplace deaths is directly linked to the increasing use of casual workers.
The Health and Safety Executive is also investigating a death in the workplace this week at the Montgomery Transport depot in Mallusk, County Antrim.
Brooks Gilmore (23) died when a tyre he was changing exploded in the depot.
Building firm in High Court over pensions cash
A CONSTRUCTION company has been accused of failing to pay €180,000 owed in pension contributions for 200 workers for over a year from deductions from workers’ pay and employer’s contributions.
The case is being taken against Limestone Construction Ltd by the Irish Pensions Board in the High Court.
The Pensions Board said it has serious concerns regarding the financial situation of the company, creditors remain unpaid and it has substantial debts. As well as this, the Board found that Limestone’s employees had been transferred to another company in the past few weeks.
Tipperary worker dies in plant
GARDAÍ and Health and Safety Authority inspectors are carrying out an investigation into the death at the weekend of a worker at the Proctor and Gamble Pharmaceutical Plant in Nenagh, County Tipperary.
Martin Healy (57), a fitter, died after becoming caught in machinery inside the plant.
Gardaí challenge retirement age
SIX senior gardaí are challenging the standard Garda retirement policies of compulsory retirement at 60 by complaining to the Equality Authority.
The gardaí lodging the claims are members of the Association of Chief Superintendents. They are expected to bring their claims to the European Commission if the Equality Authority does not rule that they can work past the age of 60 on the basis that other European jurisdictions will allow a police officer to work until 65.
None of these gardaí works on the ‘front-line’ and are all managers in ‘desk positions’.