ESB Fined After Accident Resulting in Death of Employee

Monday 9 March

A fine of €250,000 was imposed on the Electricity Supply Board (ESB), today (Monday 9 March) by Judge Nolan in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The case arose as the result of an investigation into an accident resulting in the death of Mr Shane Conlon, an employee of ESB.

On the 15th January 2013, Mr Conlon, a fourth year apprentice electrician, was part of a four man crew involved in work described as 'condition assessment and ordinary service' at the ESB Finglas 220kV Station.

During the course of this work Mr Conlon received a fatal electrical shock from a live 38kV disconnect which he came in contact with (or came close enough for the electricity to arc from) resulting in his death.

There were no direct witnesses to the accident.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Authority concluded that a number of safety procedures were not followed or fully implemented on the day of the accident.

The company, ESB, pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 8(2)(a) as that relates to Section 8(1) of the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 contrary to Section 77(9)(a) in that their employee, Mr Shane Conlon, suffered personal injury and died.

Speaking after sentencing Brian Higgisson, Assistant Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority said: "It is important that employers adequately manage and conduct work activities, in particular carrying out assessments before any major works or maintenance on high risk equipment start.

These assessments should ensure that everyone has the necessary training, knowledge and experience to complete the work in a safe manner and vulnerable employees, such as apprentices, have been considered."