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UK HSE: worker injured by falling stack of batteries in Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers

What happened

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have issued a press release relating to a case where an employee was severely injured after batteries weighing at least 300kg fell onto him. The person was working with two colleagues when he was struck by the batteries. The three workers had been restacking the batteries, which were stored in Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers (FIBCs), after the stack had toppled over.

However, the FIBCs started to rip in front of them leading to the batteries falling on to one of the workers. He suffered a double compound fracture to his lower right leg, a fracture to the left tibia, a fractured right collar bone, some bruising to his ribs and a cut on his forehead.

What went wrong

The HSE’s findings were that the site was overstocked, bags of batteries had been stacked in an unsafe manner and there was no specific documented risk assessments or safe systems of work for the correct stacking and storage of batteries. This was not an isolated incident.

IMCA members sometimes use FIBCs and incidents of this sort have occurred within the membership, which is why this alert is being passed on as a reminder.

Members may wish to refer to:

Safety Event

Published: 16 April 2024
Download: IMCA SF 08/24

Relevant life-saving rules:
IMCA Safety Flashes
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IMCA Safety Flashes summarise key safety matters and incidents, allowing lessons to be more easily learnt for the benefit of all. The effectiveness of the IMCA Safety Flash system depends on Members sharing information and so avoiding repeat incidents. Please consider adding [email protected] to your internal distribution list for safety alerts or manually submitting information on incidents you consider may be relevant. All information is anonymised or sanitised, as appropriate.

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IMCA makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the documents it publishes, but IMCA shall not be liable for any guidance and/or recommendation and/or statement herein contained. The information contained in this document does not fulfil or replace any individual’s or Member's legal, regulatory or other duties or obligations in respect of their operations. Individuals and Members remain solely responsible for the safe, lawful and proper conduct of their operations.