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Worker killed by falling boxes at fish wholesalers

Seafood wholesaler Interfish has been fined £500,000 after a stack of boxes collapsed on an employee, fatally injuring him.

Worker killed by falling boxes at fish wholesalers
Fallen boxes at Interfish | Image credit: HSE

Tomas Suchy, 22, was tidying away boxes of frozen fish that had collapsed in a cold store at the company’s warehouse in Plymouth on 18 October 2013. As he was doing so, another stack of boxes collapsed and struck him. He died from multiple and severe injuries.  

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was no safe system of work, staff were not instructed how to store pallets and there was no written procedure for dealing with falls of stock. 

At Plymouth Crown Court, Interfish pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. It was fined and ordered to pay costs of £24,800. 

HSE inspector Emma O’Hara said after the hearing: “Safe stacking of stock is a cross-industry necessity and can often be overlooked when considering safe systems of work. Dutyholders need to ensure that they are stacking safety and that they have a plan for dealing with any unforeseen circumstances such as a fall of stock.”

 

Keeley Downey is acting deputy editor of IOSH Magazine. She is a former editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine

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