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Packaging Firm Fined $194K for Unsafe FIBC Stacking

December 2, 2019

Great Britain’s occupational safety regulator, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) fined the plastic packaging manufacturer Sirap UK £150,000, or about $194,000, for unsafe stacking of Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers (FIBCs) after a worker was injured at the firm’s Sedgefield, England facility. 

A worker was using a forklift truck near a row of FIBCs on Sept. 12, 2017 when they reversed the vehicle and tore a bulk bag. While the worker was attempting to repair the tear, a FIBC weighing 1 tn stored above the torn bag fell on the person. The employee was left with several fractures to their pelvis and legs. 

An investigation by HSE determined that the firm stacked FIBCs to a height of 2.2 m. Sirap UK entered a guilty plea to violations of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 10(4) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 in the Peterlee Magistrates’ Court.

“There are many companies using this type of container and they should note that the use of FIBCs requires safe stacking formations and safe systems for reuse and repair,” HSE Inspector Clare Maltby said in the hearing. “Had the company adopted the correct standards, this worker would not have been injured.”

In addition to the fine, Sirap UK was ordered to pay £1061.47 in court costs. 

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