A shipping company has been fined for safety failings after a worker was paralysed from the waist down when he fell 3.4 metres to the bottom of a ships hold.
On 15 May 2017, the 28-year-old worker was unloading a vessel at Hull Docks when he lost his footing and fell through an access ladder gap in the walkway.
The HSE’s investigation found that for workers to inspect all the cargo onboard, it was regular practice for them to step over an access ladder gap on the walkway to get to the other side. During the incident in question, the worker was astride the gap, holding onto the guard rail, when his high-vis jacket got caught on an eyebolt on the rails. He took his hand off the rail and turned to free his jacket when he lost his footing and fell through the gap to the bottom of the hold.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and to Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The company has been fined £120,000.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector Denise Fotheringham commented: “Falls from height often result in life-changing or fatal injuries. In most cases, these incidents are needless and could be prevented by properly planning the work to ensure that effective preventative and protective measures are in place.”
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