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UPDATED: Man killed in B&Q store accident

Published: 30 March 2009
A customer has died after stock fell on him at a B&Q store in Ireland.
UPDATED: Man killed in B&Q store accident
A member of staff also narrowly escaped injury in the same incident.

The man, who has been named locally as 59-year-old Michael O'Rourke, was crushed to death last Sunday after fencing fell from a top shelf storage area at the B&Q store in Tallaght, Dublin.

The branch, which opened in 2003, was closed immediately after the incident so the Health & Safety Authority (HSA) and police could launch an investigation into what happened.

B&Q Ireland director Brian Mooney said staff were devastated and that their thoughts are with Mr O'Rourke's family and friends.

He said: "We are working with the authorities on a thorough investigation to understand how this happened and our store will remain closed while this takes place."

Comments

06 January 2018 03:10:13
jacque marsden
I have just retired early from BQ after 21 yrs.and alot off saftey issuse had come up after any accident had happened and our store in LEEDS. ( beeston ring rf) did alot to stop anything happening..i used a wave /caddy to reach overstock and had so many customers about i did feel uncomfortable and having to be careful and they would be pushing their way in to get something? It was a great idea when they said had to tape off a bay back and front of you so no customers could get too close.best thing they did yet you would still get a customer coming under the barrier to get stock so annoying.when i would say please its closed for a reason. i will get the item for you...i used to check my department every time looking up at pallets overstock after a accident before in another store.to make sure everything was ok.for customers and myself. I actually broke my thumb as stock had been put up stacked wrong and just before id chance to do it .it fell and i grabbed it to stop it falling out near customers breaking my thumb..but better than a customers head or child (was tool boxes too so would have been bad! But i know BQ in leeds we were making sure that our customers were safe? They have been some terrable accidents i feel for them and the family too.everybody can do their bit for health and saftey. Just them simple checks each time you start your shift.its not just the customer is you too.thankyou
Published prior to March 2014
By B&Q forker
Kevin, you cannot rely on pallet dockets, for instance I've been guilty of moving pallets from one place to another without changing the dockets to save time. If you worked the forklift you know you did it too.
One of my many gripes is staff during the day time cutting shrink wrap and straps on over-stock pallets just to get something like one box of tiles for a customer. It was so bad at a stage that I made a point of doing a walk round check of the store before I even got on the forklift.
Published prior to March 2014
By Mark
Sympathy to the man's family. I was in a B&Q sore two weeks ago in the Herts area, there was a chap on a mobile lift which was raised right up to the ceiling, he was moving and changing the light fittings. The area was not screened off at all, the work was being carried out at the check-out area to give you an idea of how busy the floor was. The chap was up high, he had a cardboard box with lots of replacement tubes and also the old tubes in another box. The platform wobbled as he manoeuvred it to the next bank of light fittings, the cardboard boxes wobbled too. There were no safety thoughts for himself other staff members or the general public shopping that day appalling and thanks to good luck there were no accidents.

Today I have been back to the store and was looking at garden gates; a plastic sign fell down across my face leaving a gash on my cheek. How do these things happen? Again, I just thank luck and I m glad that it was me and not a child or a pensioner.
Published prior to March 2014
By Ian
I assume that Ireland has a similar piece of legislation as The UK (e.g. Health & Safety at Work Act along with Corporate Homocide. If so I hope the full force of the Law is brought to bear on B&Q. My sympathy goes out to the family.
Published prior to March 2014
By Amanda
There should be a law that a certain ammount of safety inspecters have to be in these stores at all time checking and double checking all inventory and making sure everything is safe. My son's 3 year old half sister was killed in a Home Depot in Twin Falls Idaho when counter tops fell on her and crushed her. How do these companies get away with such carelessness? But they were still within OSHA standards. Apparently OSHA needs to raise these standards. People should not be dying in these kind of preventable accidents.
Published prior to March 2014
By ex senior manager
THE WAY B&Q TREATS IT LOW PAID EMPOYLES IS A DISGRACE. I LEFT THE BUSINESS DUE TO THE FACT THAT I COULD NOT DO MY JOB AS THE STORE MANAGER SAFELY WITH THE STAFFING RESTRICTIONS THAT WHERE FORCED ON ME.
THE COMPANY HAS WHATS CALLED A DUTY MANAGER LOG BOOK THAT HAS TO BE FILLED IN EVERY MORNING BEFORE THE STORE OPENS (H&S CHECK).
THERE IS NO WAY IN THIS WORLD THAT TWO MANAGERS CAN CHECK A 60,000 TO 100,OOO SQ FT STORE 100% BEFORE OPENING,

MOST MANAGERS PAY LIP SERVICE TO THE CHECKS AND JUST SIGN THE BOOK!!!!!!!!!!

IN MY TIME (OVER 10 YEARS) THE COVER UPS THAT WE DID IN STORES WHEN A INCIDENT HAPPENED WOULD SCAR PEOPLE.

ON A SEPERATE NOTE ONCE A MONTH THE REGIONAL MANAGER HAD TO DO THE CHECKS IN STORE AND SIGN THE BOOK ( IN MY 10 YEARS AS A STORE MANAGER THESE CHECKS WHERE NEVER DONE ONCE CORRECTLY.
THE REGIONAL MANAGER JUST USED TO COME IN AND IF YOU WHERE LUCKY SIGN THE BOOK AND DO NO CHECKS OR AS FOR 3 YEARS FROM...[comment was too long]
Published prior to March 2014
By ex b&q employee
pay my respects to the family of the deceased, the way this firm treats staff either through bad management or silly wages they pay them+as mentioned less staff for more greedy profits,would make people with good work experience to quit and also leaves the firm to rely on students and pensioners who mostly work part time hours,so carelessnes is a result.
Published prior to March 2014
By Linda
More vigilant checks by management at point of handover would be beneficial!
Published prior to March 2014
By kevin beecher
As a ex employe B&Q has health and safety as a major part of the managers day and every storebis checked each day for issues so on the day in question the store would have been checked also the fencing would have had a pallet docket attached so it would have been easy to see who is at fault all the sheds have cut staff back as rent, rates insurance, utilities have increased in price also the prices have decreased realitivly over the years so the stores handle more product with less staff

Kevin
Published prior to March 2014
By Lynne
The version I heard was that he was climbing the racking to try to get to a shed or fence that was in top-stock. If that is true, then surely B&Q cannot be held liable for his actions?!
Published prior to March 2014
By DIYer
This tragedy occured when this man was presumably shopping at B&Q. Go shopping and to your death ?

I call that offensive. All accidents are preventable. To prevent accidents it just takes time, care and it costs money. It depends on how much of these three elements mentioned above companies, individuals and the various policing bodies put into preventing them.

So here we have a man who through no fault of his own was crushed to death shopping. If he could turn back the clock he would have stood 10 metres away from someone accessing the fencing maybe or if the shop could turn back the clock they would have ensured that shoppers are nowhere near the base of stacks of timber plus ensured that the fixings and mechanism were sound and that there unloading procedures for stacks of goods like this were much more rigorus. Lastly the factories inspectorate, health and safety officials within the company the govts HSE department satff would ensure th...[comment was too long]
Published prior to March 2014
By Ex employee
The same standards of health and safety will never be met with a minimal workforce. Less staff = more profit. It's a shame
Published prior to March 2014
By p k singhal
it was an accident, any1 can die in accidents, its nothing offenssive
Published prior to March 2014
By B Lamb
Isn't this the third one in a year where someone has been killed or seriously injured at B&Q? Why aren't B&Q they being more thoroughly investigated?
Published prior to March 2014
By Concerned ex DIY store employee
My sincere condolences to the family of the deceased. On a general point (not related to this tragic accident), with reduced staff numbers in various diy stores, does health & safety not sometimes become secondary to commercial priorities. The oil industry learned this lesson very early on.

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