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UK HSE: Employee in shipyard killed by falling steel post

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has prosecuted a shipbuilding and repair company after an employee was fatally injured when struck by a 10m steel post. See press release here.

What happened

Five workers were adapting a large bogie used to land and launch vessels on and off the company’s slipway.  One of the bogie’s steel side-posts weighing approximately 1800kg fell and fatally struck the employee on the back of the head.

What went wrong

HSE investigation found that:

  • The steel side-post had only been secured to the crossbeam on the bogie by two slackened bolts;
  • The steel side-post was not supported by a crane or other means at the time of the incident;
  • The company had failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and implement a safe system of work;
  • The company did not provide the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure the health and safety at work of its employees during the task of regulating the slipway.

The HSE inspector noted “This incident was entirely preventable if the risk had been identified and suitable control measures put in place. Adequate training and supervision should also have been in place to ensure the regulating of the slipway was carried out safely by employees.”

Members may wish to refer to:

Safety Event

Published: 2 December 2021
Download: IMCA SF 33/21

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