Construction Accidents in Ireland

In order to claim compensation for construction accidents in Ireland, it has to be established that you or a loved one sustained an injury due to the negligence of an employer or other person responsible for your health and safety. Construction accident injury compensation should take into account any deterioration in the victim´s quality of life attributable to their injuries as well as any financial costs which have been incurred due to a construction accident for which they were not to blame. In order to receive impartial and accurate legal advice about claiming compensation for construction accidents in Ireland speak with one of our professional and courteous solicitors.

House Damage Compensation of €54,000 Awarded to Woman Following Oil Leak

Posted on: November 28th, 2019

A woman who had to live in temporary accommodation for two years after an oil spillage from a neighbour’s tank damaged the structure of her house has been awarded €54,000 at the High Court.

A personal injury compensation action was submitted by Ms Davies against her neighbour Margaret O’Leary who was living in a house on a elevated area to the rear of Ms Davies’ house. Ms O’Leary expressed the view that she was not liable for damage to the property as there had been a settlement for the costs of repairs to the house payments for different accommodation for Ms Davies and her family.

Mr Justice Meenan did not accept claims by Ms Davies that Ms O’Leary had deliberately withheld the truth from her when Ms Davies originally spoke to her about the oil spill. He awarded her €54, 204, made up of €12,500 general compensation and €41, 704 special compensation.

In awarding the sum Justice Meenan said while Ms O’Leary had not been asked to give evidence he was satisfied that she had acted responsibly when she became aware the leak was coming from her tank. The measures she took to address this included getting the oil removed swiftly and contracting environmental experts to overlook the damage caused.

Ms Davies told the court the leak took place early during the morning after they had been experiencing a considerable amount of rain at the start of 2013. She said that she went to Ms O’Leary’s asked her over the intercom about the incident as Ms O’Leary did allow her to enter. Ms O’Leary told Ms Davis that she did not have an oil leak but would get it checked as soon as she could. Some time after this Ms Davies said she saw what looked like a group of men emptying the oil tank.

Ms O’Leary, when contacted by Ms Davies, said that her that she was  just having the oil removed as a precautionary step and maintained that there was no oil leak on her tank. Within five minutes of this conversation happening Ms Davies was called by Ms O’Leary’s son Jarlath who also told her “there was no oil leaking and the emptying of the tank was solely precautionary.”

The judge was given information that it was necessary, for the repair work to be completed, for the ground floor to be cut up “like a piece of fudge” so the substructure could be mended.

Mr Justice  Meenan did not allow Ms Davies’ claim for aggravated damages as, he said, there was no basis for having included them in the statement of claim.


New Employees Suffering More Workplace Accidents due to Inexperience

Posted on: March 11th, 2016

The Health and Safety Authority (HAS) has launched a radio awareness campaign aimed at reducing workplace accidents due to inexperience.

A recent HSA/ESRI study of workplace accidents found that new employees are four times more likely to suffer workplace accidents due to inexperience in the first six months of a new job. The research was based on workplace injury and illness figures over a 12 year period from 2001 to 2012.

The study found that new employees – and not just younger ones – were at a much higher risk of being involved in workplace accident due to a lack of training and supervision, a reluctance to question instructions, or a lack of safety knowledge.

The risk of injury and the incidence of workplace accidents decreases with age and experience according to the study. This is explained in the HSA/ESRI report as being due to lower risk-taking and a reduction in the involvement of manual tasks.

Martin O’Halloran – Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority – is concerned that employers should be aware their new employees are a vulnerable group: He said:

“It is vital that new workers are given adequate training and supervision. This means showing a person the correct way of doing a task and making sure that they can carry out the task correctly and safely. This is particularly important in sectors like construction and agriculture where hazards such as machinery, work at height and manual-handling are common.”

Mr O´Halloran continued: “When we inspect a workplace we are looking for signs that the employer is actively managing safety and health. We find that the good employers are aware of their obligations and have a strong focus on induction training.”

The awareness campaign will run on the radio until March 18th. It is primarily aimed at reducing workplace accidents due to inexperience by reminding employers of their duties in relation to new employees.

Widow Recovers Compensation for Death of Husband at Work

Posted on: January 22nd, 2016

The widow of a man killed during the construction of a gym at the Connacht Sportsground is to receive compensation for the death of her husband at work.

In April 2008, thirty-one year old Declan Byrne was employed by CDM Steel Ltd during the construction of a gym at the Connacht Sportsground in Galway. On 30th April, Declan told a colleague that a 1.4 tonne steel beam that had been erected was misaligned and that he was going to fix it.

Because the blockwork of the construction was at an advanced stage, Declan chose to use a scaffold and bottle jack to support the beam rather than a teleporter or a crane. When Declan removed the last of the six bolts keeping the beam in place, it fell on him – causing him to suffer fatal injuries.

The investigation into Declan´s fatal accident resulted in charges being brought against his employer for breaches of the 2005 Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. However the company was acquitted at a hearing of Galway Circuit Criminal Court in 2013.

During the hearing, Judge Rory McCabe criticised CDM Steel Ltd for failing to have a construction supervisor on the site and for an “appalling lack of communication”. Subsequently, Declan´s widow – Dolores Byrne from Ballyhaunis in County Mayo – claimed compensation for the death of her husband at work.

CDM Steel Ltd and three other defendants against whom the claim was made denied that they had been responsible for Declan´s death due to negligence, and the claim for compensation for the death of a husband at work was scheduled to be heard at the High Court.

However, before the hearing could take place, a settlement of the claim was negotiated amounting to €500,000. At an approval hearing, Mr Justice Kevin Cross told Dolores “nothing can replace what you have lost” before approving the settlement of compensation for the death of a husband at work.

This is an Information site only – if you feel you have a potential claim, you should discuss your situation with a solicitor registered with the Law Society of Ireland.