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Port operator sentenced

Posted: Tuesday 28th, January 2020

Port operator sentenced after worker seriously injured during loading
23rd September 2019

A Liverpool port operating company has been sentenced after a worker
was struck by a load falling from two fork lift trucks (FLTs) at the Port of
Liverpool in Seaforth.

Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard that on 28 May 2015, three agency
workers performing work for the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company
were loading bundles of rebar onto HGV trailers for onward transfer.
The injured employee was acting as banksman whilst his two
colleagues were operating their FLTs as part of a tandem lift
manoeuvre. During the loading procedure a single bundle of rebar
weighing 1,924 kg, suspended on the forks of the two trucks, was struck
by the reversing HGV’s headboard causing it to fall onto the employee
stood on the far side by the HGV’s cab.

Following the incident, the operative sustained multiple fractures,
lacerations, scarring and abrasion, ligament reconstruction to his left
knee and has undergone four operations which resulted in the
amputation of two toes of his left foot. He has been unable to return to
work since the incident.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found no
suitable risk assessment relating to the hazards arising from loading
bundles of rebar onto reversing flatbed trailers had been carried out.
The tandem FLT lifting operation was also not properly planned,
supervised or carried out in a safe manner.

The Mersey Docks and Harbour Company Limited of Maritime Centre,
Port of Liverpool pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health
and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £300,000 and ordered
to pay costs of £7,593.55.

After the hearing HSE inspector Rohan Lye said: “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.”

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