Council invest in staff training following Devenney death

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Coleraine Borough Council has spent over £14,000 on staff health and safety training since the death of employee Alan Devenney back in July 2011.

Mr Devenney was crushed to death under an 11-tonne industrial skip full of compacted waste at Council’s Loughanhill waste disposal depot.

Coleraine Borough Council pleaded guilty to health and safety breaches last year and was fined £75,000. A civil case is still ongoing.

Following the case, Coleraine Borough Council said: “Lessons have been learned at both the corporate and individual levels to very significantly minimise the risk of death or injury to everyone involved in the delivery of a wide range of council services so that no-one endures the loss and pain experienced by the Devenney family in the future.”

This week, The Times can reveal that since the fatal incident, health and safety improvements have been made at the site.

Details of the improvements were given at a meeting of Coleraine Borough Council earlier this month after DUP councillor George Duddy put forward a motion asking for a report on improvements at the Loughanhill Depot following Mr Devenney’s death.

At the time, the DUP councillor argued that the motion should be debated in an open meeting,.

The DUP said that ratepayers had the ‘right to know’ what improvements had been made as a result of the fatal accident.

At the meeting, an amendment by UUP councillor Norman Hillis asking for the debate to be held ‘in committee’ was put forward.

Following a vote the press and public were excluded from the meeting, and the motion was debated behind closed doors.

This week, we can bring you details of the costs and improvements made at the site.

Details that Council officials didn’t want ratepayers to know.

The Coleraine Times understand that around £5,000 has been spent on new signage, CCTV cameras and ramps atthe Loughanhill depot.

Coleraine Borough Council staff have also received health and safety training costing in the region of £14,000 on safe vehicle movements and about safe practices whilst working on roadsides and grass verges.

We contacted Coleraine Borough Council for a comment, they were unable to make any.

In a statement they said: ”Coleraine Borough Council can confirm that as the matter was discussed in committee, it is not possible to make any comment.”

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