The UK Health & Safety Executive (UK HSE) have prosecuted Associated British Ports (ABP), accusing them for safety violations after a flexible intermediate bulk container, weighing 600kg fell and hit an employee.
A 600kg flexible intermediate bulk container (FIBC) bag of Ammonium Nitrate fell onto an employee, as he was removing pallets from a stack. The employee sustained multiple fractures, a dislocated ankle and knee and back injuries, and he was not fit to work for thirteen weeks.
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) conducted an investigation into the incident which occurred on 16 May 2016, concluding that the company did not follow their own risk assessments, by stacking FIBC bags directly on top of one another, rather than stacking in a pyramid fashion. The company also failed to review their stacking practice after earlier incidents of bag spills and stack collapses at their Ipswich and King’s Lynn docks.
Associated British Ports pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and have been fined £666,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8688.23.
This accident made clear the following:
- The importance of following industry guidance;
- The importance of making sure that companies and crews follow their own company risk assessments;
- Learning from previous incidents and ensuring that systems of work and procedures are properly reviewed after incidents.