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Unsafe loading leads to worker's fall

Unsafe loading leads to worker's fall

20 March 2012 Email this article

An employee fell around two metres while unloading a shipping container, attached to the back of an HGV.  As a result, a partner in a Leicester food company has been fined.

The 18-year-old employee was asked to unload barrels, stored in layers with plywood separating each layer, from the container at Simtom Food Products factory in Merry Lees.

The teenage worker was then lifted on a pallet on a fork lift truck, to climb onto a stack of pallets near the container doors. From there he entered the container, dragging the barrels onto the pallet held at height by the fork lift.

The man fell whilst stepping from one pallet to another, and suffered severe bruising to his abdomen, as well as sprains to his shoulder and wrist. This left him off work for several weeks.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Mr Chandarana for the 4 January 2011 incident.

Mr Chandarana, 57, of Hastings Road, Kirby Muxloe, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £7,500 with costs of £1,380.

After the hearing HSE inspector Alison Cook said:

"Had a safe system of unloading been used then this incident would not have happened. Lifting people up on pallets on a fork lift is utterly unacceptable because of the potential consequences of a fall. It was pure luck that a young man was not more seriously injured.

"Since the incident Mr Chandarana has contracted out unloading to a firm with a level loading dock to eliminate the risk of a fall. It is a pity someone had to be hurt for this to be chosen."

For more information on training for safe loading and unloading go here