Tuesday 17 October 2017

College worker died in cherry picker accident on campus

Frank McGrath: fatal accident
Frank McGrath: fatal accident
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A MEMBER of University College Cork's governing body died from extensive chest injuries sustained while he was working with a cherry-picker machine on campus.

A Cork coroner's inquest into the death of Frank McGrath (58) was adjourned after it was confirmed that a Health and Safety Authority (HSA) probe into the accident was ongoing.

A HSA inspector told the coroner, Dr Myra Cullinane, that the investigation was "very complex" and was taking some time to complete.

The inquest was told that a further period was required to conclude the HSA investigation, after the completion of which the inquest can proceed.

Dr Cullinane adjourned the hearing until April 3.

Mr McGrath, of Sarsfield Terrace, Richmond Hill, Cork, worked in UCC's maintenance and engineering section.

He was a highly respected member of staff and also served on the college's governing body.

He died from extensive chest injuries caused by blunt force trauma on March 5 last.

Mr McGrath was working with a cherry picker machine as he tended to the lighting systems at the campus. No details of the circumstances of the accident have been given as yet.

HSA inspector Michael O'Flynn is directing the agency's investigation into the tragic accident under the Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act.

Mr McGrath had worked in UCC for over 26 years.

As a tribute to him, UCC planted a special tree in his memory last autumn with members of the McGrath family as guests of honour. UCC paid tribute to Mr McGrath and vowed to co-operate fully with all investigations.

POPULAR

"Frank McGrath joined UCC in 1986 and was immensely popular among all staff. He was elected on two occasions to membership of the governing body, where he shared his wisdom, pragmatism and above all his loyalty to and pride in UCC," a college spokesperson said.

"UCC is deeply saddened by the accident and (again) wishes to extend its sincere sympathy to his family and colleagues."

The accident occurred at the campus just off the College Road.

Frantic efforts by staff and paramedics at the scene to save Mr McGrath failed.

Irish Independent

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