Monday, 18 December 2017

Associated British Ports was fined £674,688 after a 600 kg bag of fertiliser hit an employee

Associated British Ports was fined £674,688 (inc.costs) after a bag of fertiliser fell and struck an employee.
The circumstances were:
  • The company had earlier incidents of bag spills and stack collapses at their Ipswich and King’s Lynn docks.
  • However, the company continued to follow a practice of stacking 600kg flexible intermediate bulk container (FIBC) bags directly on top of one another.  
  • The recognised industry standard is to stack them in a more stable pyramid fashion.
  • On 16 May 2016, an employee  was removing pallets from the front of a stack and was struck by a bag as it fell.
  • The incident caused him to sustain multiple fractures, a dislocated ankle and knee and back injuries, and he was unable to work for thirteen weeks.

The HSE inspector said
“This case highlights the importance of ensuring FIBC bags are stacked according to industry guidance. This incident could so easily have been avoided if the company had followed their own risk assessments and reviewed their systems following previous bag collapses.”

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