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€3,000 fine for corporate manslaughter an insult to working people – Morgan

24 January, 2008

Sinn Féin TD and Spokesperson on Workers' Rights Arthur Morgan TD today slammed a court ruling which fined a company €3,000 for not having safe scaffolding in place on a north Galway construction site when a plasterer tragically fell to his death. Morgan accused the Government of being indifferent to worker deaths, following its failure to publish adequate corporate manslaughter legislation.

The Louth TD said, "The Government's attitude to the health and safety of workers is disgusting. Why have they not expanded the inadequate Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2006 so that they actually go some way to preventing accidents in the workplace?

"It is not enough that the Health and Safety Authority attend the scene alongside the Gardaí to conduct an investigation after a serious accident or fatality occurs. Corporate Manslaughter legislation must be introduced to protect workers from negligence.

"The Government obviously feel that being in the pockets of the likes of IBEC is more important than preventing workers from dying or being seriously injured in their workplaces. Pádraig Daly, who died in this case, is one of many who have died because this Government did not legislate to protect their rights. A €3,000 fine for the company that was responsible for killing him is an insult to workers everywhere.

"From the number of workplace deaths it is obvious that the guidelines that are in place are deficient. They are not serving to protect workers. Anyone found to be responsible for negligence must be made criminally answerable. The Government has a moral obligation to act on this issue and put it to the fore of Government agenda." ENDS

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