A cargo firm has been ordered to pay £200,000 after an employee was crushed while working in a container park.
Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court was told that on the evening of 25 August 2017, Mieczyslaw Tadeusz Siwak was working for Portico Shipping (formerly MMD Shipping Services) in Portsmouth, connecting refrigerated container units to electrical supplies. His colleague was lifting them into position for him using a container stacker vehicle. During one of these manoeuvres, Mieczyslaw was fatally crushed between two containers.
'This tragic incident was entirely preventable had the correct safety management procedures and supervision been in place at the site,' said Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Rebecca Lumb.
'When moving containers by container stacker, the load should be transported as low as possible while maintaining full line of sight'
Investigators found that Portico Shipping routinely failed to provide adequate supervision of operatives and drivers working on the night shift to ensure safe systems of work were followed. This included failure to use safe walkways to segregate pedestrians from vehicles and the safe operation of container stackers by driving with shipping containers in the raised position to allow visibility.
'Supervisors must be given the necessary instruction and training to implement the safe systems of work and manage hazards during operation processes,' added Rebecca.
'Safe systems of work should be in place on sites with moving vehicles to prevent pedestrians coming into contact with traffic or moving machinery. When moving containers by container stacker, the load should be transported as low as possible while maintaining full line of sight.'
Portico Shipping admitted breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. As well as the £200,000 fine, it was ordered to pay prosecution costs of £15,631.