Stryker Plant Explosion Cork – Victim is still fighting for his life
By The Headlines, April 20, 2023 | 10:43 AM
Following the blast, which left the 41-year-old on life support with severe burns to nearly 70% of his body, calls for a complete safety investigation of the global medical devices giant's operations in East Cork is growing.
The family of a father of three young children is keeping vigil by his bedside as he fights for his life after an industrial disaster at a Stryker facility in Cork.
Following the incident that left the 41-year-old on life support with severe burns to nearly 70% of his body, calls are growing for a complete safety assessment of the global medical devices giant's operations in East Cork.
He was transported to Cork University Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery, was placed on life support, and was later flown to Dublin for further care.
He and another employee were working on the roof of the Anngrove factory when a mini-explosion occurred just after 1 p.m. on Tuesday. Employees of external contractors were performing maintenance or repairs to roof vents when the blast happened.
Stryker has refused to engage with the trade union Siptu at the Anngrove plant, which is now the centre of a major health and safety investigation following the tragedy.
In addition, the company has completely ignored two 2019 Labour Court recommendations that it should recognize and engage with the union at its other two East Cork sites, where Siptu members made a protected disclosure in 2021 regarding severe health and safety concerns.
Even though the company works with Siptu at its Limerick factory and a recently purchased plant in Macroom, Co Cork, where wage discussions finished late this year.
The union has now requested an immediate meeting with Stryker management, as requests for a complete safety review of the company's activities in East Cork intensify.
Siptu filed three cases against Stryker for lack of union representation in the Labour Court, two in 2019 regarding Stryker's factories in Tullagreen and Springhill, near Carrigtwohill, and the third earlier this year in respect to the nearby Anngrove factory.
The corporation did not appear at the proceedings. The complaints were uncontested.
The Labour Court issued two recommendations in late 2019 that Stryker recognizes the union in the Tullagreen and Springhill facilities, but there was no official engagement. Two years later, the protected disclosure of health and safety risks occurred.
Following the Labour Court's recommendation on Wednesday, Siptu sector organiser Neil McGowan stated that they have now written to management requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the safety concerns of workers at the three Stryker locations in Carrigtwohill.
The seriously injured man's family, from a well-known Cork family, has requested people to pray for him, describing him as "a kind, mild-mannered family man, with a loving wife, a baby, a young child, and a stepson who are his world."
Following an examination by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), operations at Anngrove resumed on Wednesday. Its probe is supposed to concentrate on the vent and its filters and how frequently they were cleaned or replaced.
Stryker stated that it is in contact with the families of both injured men, that its employee assistance program is available to employees, and that personnel are on-site to support them.
"We continue to work closely with the HSA as they conduct their investigations into the incident," stated a spokesman.