Transport & Storage Sector
Improper storage leads to workers death
Health & Safety update 18/05/2012
The death of a haulage company employee could have been
prevented if a simple rack had been used to store the steel coils
that crushed him to death.
The Health and Safety Executive (HES) investigation in to the
death of 52-year-old Alan Burr found that his employer, ABC
(Grimsby) Ltd., should have used an inexpensive rack to store the
Mr Burr was killed at the company’s warehouse in Henderson Quay
at Immingham Docks in January 2010. He had been repairing some torn
packaging on a roll of coil and was standing between two rolls in
the middle of an upright row of them. Each of the coils measured
five feet in diameter and weighed one tonne.
One of the coils in the row toppled while Mr Burr was working,
and created a domino effect, trapping him in between the heavy
material. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
HSE inspector, Denise Fotherington, said that the method of
storage was a common one, albeit a dangerous one. No employees at
the company had been instructed not to store them in that way.
“Narrow banded coils can be unstable when stored on roll end as
they can collapse in a domino effect and that, very sadly, is
exactly what happened,” she said. “This loss of life could have
been avoided if sufficient instruction, training and the provision
of inexpensive coil racks - which work on the same simple principle
as a toast rack - had been provided by the company.”
ABC (Grimsby) Ltd pleaded guilty to two charges of breaching the
Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £25,000 and
ordered to pay £20,000 costs.
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