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Saturday, 29 April, 2000, 10:10 GMT 11:10 UK
Investigation into builder's death
The pipe-fitter fell 30 feet from scaffolding
The pipe-fitter fell 30 feet from scaffolding
The Health and Safety Executive have launched an investigation into the death of a workman killed in an accident at a Belfast Library.

The 61-year-old pipe fitter from Slievemore in the Lower Falls area of west Belfast was named locally as Gerard Johnston.

He died was working on an extension to the back of the Linenhall Library in Fountain Street in the City Centre when he fell 30 feet from scaffolding on Friday morning.

He died from of head injuries.


Linenhall librarian John Gray
John Gray: Library staff shocked at tragedy
Linenhall librarian John Gray said staff were devastated by what happened.

"We're deeply pained by this accident and want to extend our sympathy to his family.

"One does reflect that there are many examples of progress and new buildings all around the city centre.

"It's a tragedy that all too often that progress is at the price of the people who do the hard graft in the building trade," he said

The dead man was working for the contractor William Dowling.

His name is yet to be released.

'Accidents could rise'

Chief Inspector of the Health and Safety Executive at the Executive, John Francey told the BBC that he feared the number of construction accidents would increase because of the current Belfast building boom.

"When there is a boom in building it is almost inevitable that there will be an increase in the overall number of accidents. And falls from heights cause more than half of construction accidents," he said.

"It is important to remember that the responsibility for the safety of a site rests with management. Those who create the conditions must make them safe.

"Workers can only operate under the conditions they are placed under by management," he added.

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