Two County Antrim self-employed construction contractors fined following workplace death

October 28, 2022

[Northern Ireland] The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) has successfully led a prosecution for breaches of health and safety legislation against two self-employed construction contractors, James (Gary) Wadsworth from Lisburn, and Paul McMullan from Dundrod.

The prosecution followed the death in 2020 of James (Jim) Carlisle, a 58-year-old, self-employed contractor who fell from height during a re-roofing project.

Both of the accused had earlier pleaded guilty to the charges and were sentenced at Lisburn Magistrates’ Court. Gary Wadsworth and Paul McMullan were each fined £1,000 in relation to health and safety failings.

The HSENI investigation established that all three men were working on the replacement of a shed roof at a farm in Hillsborough on 1 September 2020. During the construction work, Mr Carlisle fell approximately 4.4 metres from an unguarded platform and tragically died at the scene.

The platform consisted of three timber planks spanning an internal shed wall and a cage supported by a telescopic handler. There were no control measures in place to prevent falls from height during the construction work and the method of work employed was inherently unsafe.

Immediately following the incident, a health and safety inspector attended the scene and served enforcement notices prohibiting any further work at height activities from taking place until appropriate safety measures were put in place.

Lee Dougan, an Inspector with HSENI’s Major Investigation Team said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related deaths within the construction sector.

“All employers, including self-employed contractors, have a legal responsibility to plan and organise work to ensure it can be carried out safely. If work at height cannot be avoided, a safe means of access must be provided such as mobile elevated work platforms or suitably constructed scaffolding.”


This is valid as of 28th October 2022.

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