Firm on trial over death of man crushed by digger

A construction firm is facing trial in connection with the death of a man in Dublin who was crushed by a digger.

Avid photographer Harvey Wolfe, 54, from Skerries, north Dublin, died on February 21, 2014, after he was caught between a digger and a wall as he took pictures of construction work.

The fatal accident happened at Harbour Road in Skerries during redevelopment of the site of a former hotel. Emergency services rushed to the scene and spent around 30 minutes trying to resuscitate Mr Wolfe who had previously worked as a transport manager.

An investigation was carried out by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).

Contractor Felix O’Hare & Co based at Chancellors Road, Newry, Co Down, was summonsed to appear at Dublin District Court.

The building firm faces 10 charges under the Safety and Health and Welfare at Work Act, including allegations it failed to erect barriers around the construction site at the Pier House on Harbour Road.

Another charge, under the same legislation, is that the firm did not have CCTV on an excavator to give visibility at a blind spot and as a consequence Mr Wolfe “suffered personal injury and died”.

Judge John O’Neill heard that the DPP had directed trial on indictment and a book of evidence was served in court by HSA inspector Frank Kearns on company representative Damian Gill.

Judge O’Neill warned the company official and the firm’s solicitor that if an alibi is going to be used as part of their defence, the details must be furnished to the State. He said he was granting the DPP’s application to have the firm, which has not yet entered a plea, returned for trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where it will face its next hearing on October 28.


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