A FATHER-OF-FIVE was crushed to death by a slurry tanker because it had no identified jacking point from which to change a wheel, an inquest has found.
Banbridge farmer David Mayne was killed almost exactly one year ago when he tried to change a punctured tyre on a nine-tonne slurry tanker near the Ardbrin Road.
An inquest held in Newry last Friday found that there were defects in the system of working but all were due to the lack of jacking point on the tanker.
David, who was 31 years old when he died, had been a leading goalscorer for Banbridge Hockey Club where he had played for 13 years.
His sudden death was said to have devastated his wife Leanne and their five children, his parents Norman and Maureen and the rest of the family.
The Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation following the tragedy, and issued a warning following the inquest.
Sean Keogh said, “When it comes to changing wheels on heavy agricultural machinery such as slurry tankers we would strongly advise that only persons who have the right equipment should tackle this work. Often this will mean the farmer engaging a competent contractor.”
Fatal accident statistics in Northern Ireland show that over one in three workplace deaths are caused by unsafe maintenance. In the last year, the farming industry suffered 12 deaths, three of which related to maintenance and repair activities.
At the time of David’s death his sister Sandra said the community had rallied round the family.
“We have had a lot people calling to the house to show their support, and I know that everyone has been badly shocked,” she said. “It is such a big loss for us and especially Leanne and the children.”
Banbridge Hockey Club said David had been one of their stand-out players in his time.
“Davy will be remembered by many members for his long association with our club and in particular the third and fourth elevens with whom he played with such distinction for so many years.
“His annual tussles for the title of junior club leading goalscorer will be remembered by all. He will always be remembered for his sublime silky skills which were often the highlight of any game he were to play in.”