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Home News & Events HEALTH & SAFETY LAW NEWS: Bitmac Ltd Directors and Employee cleared of Injury Responsibility

HEALTH & SAFETY LAW NEWS: Bitmac Ltd Directors and Employee cleared of Injury Responsibility

Saturday, 23 July 2011 16:06

The Court of Magistrates (Malta) as presided by Magistrate Dr. Audrey Demicoli yesterday delivered judgment in the case instituted by the Police and the Occupational Health & Safety Authority (OHSA) against Mssrs Hector Camilleri, 53, of San Ġwann, Morris Captur, 85, of Sliema, Martin Farrugia, 48, of San Ġwann, Giuseppe Fenech,77, of Lija and Nicola Micallef, 61, of Iklin, all being Company Directors of Bitmac Limited as well as Mr Marco Borg, 48, of Mellieħa, employeed with the same company as a fork lifter driver, clearing them all from any responsibility for the injury sustained by another employee of the company, Mr Mark Vella.

In brief, on March 13, 2008, Mr Mark Vella had sustained a serious ankle injury after he was hit by the fork lifter within the grounds of Bitmac Limited in Naxxar. Mr Vella had explained that he was down on his knees painting bitumen mattresses and when he stood up, he lost his balance and unwillingly stepped backwards with the consequence that his ankle was hit by the fork lifter which was being manouvered in the vicinty by Mr Marco Borg. Indeed, Mr Mark Vella had immediately admitted to the authorities that it was purly accidental.

Magistrate Dr Audrey Demicoli remarked that it was evident that the unfortunate injury had been an accident since Mr Vella on loosing his balance, had fallen backwards in the fork lifter's pathway and therefore, the fork lifter's driver could not be found gulity of negligence at the place of work. With regards to the five directors, the court found that given the fact that a Health & Safety audit report had been drawn up and given the fact that the fork lifter did not form part of the machinery specifically identified by law to be tested every fourteen (14) months, they were all acquitted from any responsibility for the accident.

Lawyers Dr Joseph Giglio and Dr Steve Tonna Lowell appeared as defence counsels for Camilleri, Captur, Farrugia, Micallef and Borg whilst lawyers Dr Michael Tanti-Dougall and Dr Jacqueline Tanti-Dougall were defence counsels for Fenech.

Tanti-Dougall & Associates, Advocates, through Dr Jacqueline Tanti-Dougall, provide legal advice, audit and risk assesments on Occupational Health & Safety to a number of clients in particular factories, hotels, cruise liners and the civil aviation industry.