Fatal crush between shipping containers
A CARGO handling company has been fined £200,000 after an employee was crushed to death between shipping containers while working at a container yard in Portsmouth.
On August 25, 2017, Mr. Mieczyslaw Tadeusz Siwak, 34, father of one, was working for Portico Shipping Limited (formerly MMD (Shipping Services) Limited) as a night shift in the container yard. His job was to connect refrigerated containers to power supplies, which his colleague had set up for him using a container stacker vehicle. It was during one of these maneuvers that Mr. Siwak was fatally crushed between two containers.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company routinely failed to provide adequate supervision of operators and drivers working night shifts to ensure safe working systems were followed. This included failure to use safe walkways to separate pedestrians from vehicles and the safe operation of container stackers when driving with shipping containers in the raised position to allow visibility.
Portico Shipping Limited of Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, Hampshire has pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1974. At Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court the company was fined £200,000 and costs £15,631.61.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Rebecca Lumb said: ‘Safe working systems must be in place at 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 carried as low as possible while maintaining a full line of sight.
“Supervisors must receive the necessary instructions and training to implement safe work systems and manage risks during operating processes.
“This tragic incident could have been entirely avoided had the proper safety management procedures and oversight been in place at the site.”