Aer Lingus has been fined a quarter of a million euro following the death of a driver at Dublin Airport.
A dad of two died when he fell three feet from a loading bay over two years ago.
The court heard on the night of 5th November 2014, courier worker John Murray from Skerries was climbing down from a loading bay at Dublin Airport with some light parcels when he fell.
He wasn’t found until around 25 minutes later as he fell behind his own van and couldn’t be seen.
By this time he was unconscious and was rushed to Beaumont Hospital but later died from serious head injuries.
Aer Lingus said it deeply regretted what happened. A representative for the company, pleaded guilty on its behalf that it failed to manage and conduct its undertaking in such a way as to ensure, that individuals who were not its employees were not exposed to risks to their safety, health or welfare.
The charge specifies that at or near Gate 7 at Aer Lingus Cargo Warehouse on November 5, 2014, there was a failure to ensure that adequate measures were in place to protect people from the risk of a fall from height and that there was a failure to implement its written procedures dealing with driver access to loading bays.
The court heard they’ve since improved their health and safety in the area.
Judge Martin Nolan said there was clearly a danger at the loading bay but nobody could have envisaged that someone could have been killed.
He extended his sympathies to the Murray family and noted their devastation at Mr Murray's death.
He fined Aer Lingus €250,000 which the company must pay in three months.
His wife Angela spoke outside the court.
The Murray family's solicitor, Dermot McNamara, has issued a statement on their behalf:
"Whilst my clients welcome today's verdict, it does little to ease their pain.
John Murray went to work on November 5th 2014 and his family expected him to return home safely.
He died because Aer Lingus did not open and close the designated pedestrian door and instead drivers had to access the warehouse via the loading bay.
There is no point in Aer Lingus having vital Health and Safety rules if they fail to ensure they are strictly followed.
In this case, the failure to ensure drivers used a safe pedestrian option, ultimately cost Mr Murray his life and left a family with a devastating loss."
The Health And Safety Authority has issued a statement saying Aer Lingus "failed to apply their own written procedure for drivers, which should have meant that all drivers accessed the warehouse by a pedestrian stairs and doorway adjacent to the loading bay.
“With any large and busy multi-occupancy workplace it is important that employers are aware of their responsibilities to persons other than their employees.”