Local authority accused of safety breaches leading to employee's death

Tuesday 15 July 2014 20.24
The trial continues at the Circuit Criminal Court in Waterford
The trial continues at the Circuit Criminal Court in Waterford

A local authority has been accused of breaching safety and welfare at work regulations by failing to ensure the safety of a council worker killed when a work truck rolled over him.

The County Council of Waterford, known as Waterford County Council at the time but in June merged with the city under the name Waterford City and County Council, has denied the charges in the pleadings.

The four charges relate to the death of 64-year-old roads worker John Vincent Delaney, of Chapel Street in Tallow, Co Waterford, who was killed on 22 July 2011 when a truck backed over him as he and a gang were filling in potholes.

The charges were brought as the council is alleged to have contravened the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.

Tallow Town Manager Paul Daly pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled at the county council at the Circuit Criminal Court in Waterford.

It is alleged that the council failed to ensure, in so far as is reasonably practicable, that the system of work was "planned, organised, performed or maintained". 

It is also alleged that the council failed to ensure that the work be without risk to an employee.

On a separate count, the council is charged with not providing a safe work place for the employee, "as a consequence of which, a person was injured and died".

It is also alleged that the council failed to adequately "instruct and supervise" the worker and that he died as a consequence.

State prosecutor Noel Whelan told Judge Pauline Codd that the worker died when the council truck reversed in order "to compact the potholes."

The trial continues.