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Delivery van reversed over traffic marshall's head and body

Ferry operator Stena Line has been fined £400,000 after a worker was struck by a 3.5-tonne delivery van being reversed out of a docked vessel.

Image credit | HSE

George Ball was working as a pontoon traffic marshall at the company's port terminal in Birkenhead, Wirral on 17 September 2017 when the van was reversed off the Stena Lagan vessel onto the pontoon area by a port service operative.

The vehicle collided with Ball, knocking him to the ground, and continued to reverse over his head and body. He sustained multiple injuries including numerous fractures to his skull and ribs and loss of sight in one eye. He has been left with double vision in the other eye and suffers ongoing mental health problems.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation revealed there was no consideration of physical segregation of pedestrian operatives from moving vehicles when vessels were being unloaded. Stena Line had failed to adequately assess the risks to pedestrians from moving vehicles and consequently put in place effective control measures leading to a safe system of work.

Stena Line pleaded guilty to breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act for failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of an employee. As well as the fine, it was ordered to pay £6576 in costs.

“The injuries sustained by Mr Ball, which affect him to this day, were easily preventable," said HSE inspector Rohan Lye after the hearing. "The risks to pedestrians from moving vehicles is an obvious one which should have been identified and controlled.

“Had Stena Line employed suitable control measures, the life changing physical and emotional injuries which continue to impact Mr Ball and his family would have been avoided.”


Kellie is a freelance writer and former online editor of the Health and Safety at Work website.

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