A British port company was ordered by the Ipswich Magistrates’ Court to pay a fine totaling £666,000, or about $888,000, after a 600kg flexible intermediate bulk container (FIBC) bag fell and injured a worker, Great Britain’s occupational safety regulator, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), announced in a Dec. 15 press release.
On May 16, 2016, the worker was removing pallets from the front of a stack at the Associated British Ports site when a 600kg FIBC bag of ammonium nitrate fertilizer fell onto the man. The accident resulted in several fractures, dislocation of an ankle, and injuries to the worker’s knees and back.
HSE investigators found that Associated British Ports stacked FIBC bags on top of one another instead of in a pyramid-shaped arrangement that is widely considered safe, the release said. Its method of stacking the bags was in violation of the firm’s own risk assessments.
The regulator said the company also did not review their stacking practice after several earlier incidents where bags spilled or collapsed at Associated British Ports sites in Ipswich and King’s Lynn.
“This case highlights the importance of ensuring FIBC bags are stacked according to industry guidance,” said HSE inspector Tania van Rixtel in the release. “This incident could have been so easily avoided if the company had followed their own risk assessments and reviewed their systems following previous bag collapses.”
Associated British Ports was found guilty of violating Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. In addition to the fine, the company was also ordered to pay £8688.23 in costs.