Building company fined €40,000 following death of worker who fell from scaffold

Friday 23 April 2021

On 23 April 2021 at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Martin Nolan imposed a €40,000 fine on Colin Wendel Developments Ltd following a guilty plea to a charge under the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act 2005.

The Managing Director of the company Colin Wendel had also pleaded guilty to a similar charge and was fined €5,000. Mr Wendel also undertook to pay €20,000 compensation to the widow of the worker who died.

The case arose following a fatal incident on 24 October 2016 at a construction site in Rathgar, Dublin 6, when Andrezej Buraczewski, a 45 year-old Polish man employed by OCC Building Services died when he fell from a roof level scaffold to the ground.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Authority concluded that not all appropriate safety measures were in place at the time of the incident. 

Colin Wendel Developments Ltd pleaded guilty to Section 12 of the 2005 Act contrary to Section 77(9)(a) in that it failed to manage and conduct its undertaking and as a result, Mr Buraczewski suffered personal injury and died. Mr Wendel pleaded guilty to Section 12 of the 2005 Act contrary to Section 77(2)(a).

Commenting on the case, Mark Cullen, Chief Inspector with the HSA, said:

“It is important that companies and their Directors ensure that all work activities are managed and conducted in a safe manner. Ensuring workers are not put at risk when working at a height can prevent serious incidents from occurring.”