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Port company fined after 600kg FIBC bag falls on employee

What happened?

The UK Health & Safety Executive (UK HSE) have prosecuted Associated British Ports (ABP) for safety breaches after a flexible intermediate bulk container weighing 600kg fell and struck an employee.

What went wrong? What were the causes?

A 600kg flexible intermediate bulk container (FIBC) bag of Ammonium Nitrate fell onto an employee as he was removing pallets from the front of a stack. He suffered multiple fractures, a dislocated ankle and knee and back injuries, and he was unable to work for thirteen weeks.

The HSE investigation found that the company had failed to follow their own risk assessments, by stacking FIBC bags directly on top of one another rather than in the recognised industry standard of stacking in a pyramid fashion. The company had also failed to review their stacking practice following earlier incidents of bag spills and stack collapses on the dockside.

This case highlights three things:

  • The importance of following industry guidance;
  • The importance of ensuring that companies and crews follow their own company risk assessments;
  • Learning from previous incidents – ensuring that systems of work and procedures are properly and thoroughly reviewed after incidents.

The full press release can be found on the UK HSE website.

Members may wish to refer to the following incidents:

Safety Event

Published: 11 April 2018
Download: IMCA SF 08/18

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