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£300k fine for port company after worker injured in forklift load incident

News | 3rd Oct 2019

A port operating company has been fined £300,000 after a worker was struck by a load which fell from two forklifts.

On 28th May 2015, three agency workers were completing a task on the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, loading bundles of rebar onto LGV trailers for transfer. One of the workers acted as a banksman whilst the other two workers operated a lift truck each as part of a tandem manoeuvre. During the lift, a single bundle of rebar weighing 1924kg, which was suspended on the forks of the two trucks, was hit by a reversing LGV’s headboard. The bundle fell onto the Banksman employee who was stood on the far side of the HGV’s cab.

The worker suffered multiple fractures, lacerations, scarring and abrasion, ligament reconstruction to his left knee, and received four operations, including the amputation of two toes on his left foot. As a result of his injuries, he has been unable to return to work.

An investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that no suitable risk assessment relating to the hazards caused by loading bundles of rebar onto reversing flatbed trailers had been carried out. The use of forklift trucks in a tandem had not been properly planned, supervised or carried out in a safe manner, nor had any other, safer method of completing the lifting operation.

HSE Inspector, Rohan Lye, commented: “Those in control of work have a responsibility to ensure they provide safe methods of working and a safe working environment. If suitable controls had been in place, the serious physical injuries sustained by this worker could easily have been prevented.”

Mersey Docks and Harbour Company Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, receiving a fine of £300,000 with further costs of £7,593.55.

Source: SHP Online, £300k fine after worker seriously injured, 27th September 2019. Read the full article.

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