A cargo handling company has been fined by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) following an incident in which a worker was seriously injured.
Cargo handling company North East Stevedoring Company Limited (NESC), based in Aberdeen, was working at Clipper Quay, Aberdeen Harbour at the time of the incident.
On 13 June 2013, an NESC employee was transporting loose pipes from the quay to a crane on the quayside. The employee was operating a forklift truck in order to transport the pipes.
Christopher Smith, an employee of Euroline Shipping Company Limited, was responsible for overseeing loading operations at the quay. Mr Smith was making his way to the ship that the cargo was to be loaded onto, when he was struck on the lower back by the pipes as they were in transit.
Mr Smith suffered several fractured vertebrae, as well as a fracture to his left elbow. He has not returned to work since the incident occurred.
Following an investigation by the HSE, it was found that there was no safe system of work in place at Clipper Quay. NSEC was found to have failed to ensure a safe distance was in place between pedestrians and vehicles.
HSE told Aberdeen Sheriff Court that NESC was responsible for organising their work site and therefor responsible for the safety of those using it.
After pleading guilty to breaching Section 17(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, North East Stevedoring Company Limited, of Streamline Terminal, Blaikies Quay, Aberdeen was fined £12,000.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Sarah Liversidge said:
“The law states duty holders must ensure the workplace is organised in such a way that pedestrians and vehicles can circulate in a safe manner.
“NESC failed in that undertaking, there was insufficient separation between vehicles and pedestrians within the loading area at the Quay that resulted in Mr Smith sustaining serious injury that has prevented him from returning to work.”
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Source: Health & Safety Executive