A berth operator at an Essex Port has been fined £20,000 for safety failings after an employee had both legs amputated after they were crushed by a cargo container in an incident which occurred on the 26th March 2010.
The dock worker was returning to a safe refuge under a quayside crane when he was knocked down by a 45ft container being lowered by a reach stacker. The driver of the reach stacker, unaware that the worker was on the quayside and had been knocked down, continued to lower the container onto his legs. They were crushed to such a degree that they later had to be amputated.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Stanton Grove had failed to ensure the safety of the worker while he was working on the quayside.
HSE Inspector Toni Drury, said:
"This incident clearly demonstrates why it is essential that the risk arising from the movement of vehicles and large lifting plant at docks is carefully managed.
"It is common for a wide range of vehicles and equipment to have to use shared space on the docks. There may also be workers on foot undertaking tasks such as guiding loads, removing twistlocks or supervising operations. Good co-ordination and co-operation between all those who are in control of the berth, the operations and the workforce is a necessity, and an agreed safe system of work must be properly communicated and training provided to all involved.
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Mofozzul Hussain LLB (Hons) -Office Manager (Birkenhead) and Personal Injury Solicitor