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HSE fined €500,000 after paramedic dies in fall from ambulance

A Cavan-based paramedic fell out the side door of an ambulance while transporting a patient to Dublin.

File photo
File photo
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE HSE HAS been fined €500,000 for breaching workplace health and safety rules after a paramedic died in a fall from an ambulance three years ago.

Simon Sexton, 43, fell from the side door of an ambulance at Stradone, Co Cavan, while it brought a patient from Cavan General Hospital to Dublin in June 2010.

The door of the ambulance opened en route and Sexton – a married father of six – sustained fatal injures in falling.

The HSE pleaded guilty to two charges at Dublin Circuit Court today.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring imposed a fine of €350,000 for not offering its staff adequate training and instruction in relation to the rear-hinged side doors of the ambulance vehicles.

A further fine of €150,000 was issued over the risk assessment of the ambulance and the doors in question.

The court was told that a similar incident had occurred in 2007, when a paramedic was seriously injured when he fell from an ambulance as he tried to close its side door while the vehicle was moving.

“Over half of all workplace deaths each year involve vehicles. The risks associated with workplace vehicles needs to be carefully controlled and managed by all employers,” said the Health and Safety Authority’s assistant chief executive Brian Higgisson.

Read: “One moment off-balance and my leg was gone”

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Gavan Reilly

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