Merseyside ship company fined after worker killed by 1.8 tonne post

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A Merseyside shipbuilding and repair company has been fined after an employee was fatally injured when he was struck in the head by an unsecured steel post.

On 30 March 2017, the 23-year-old employee and four colleagues, all workers at Carmet Marine Limited, had been adapting or ‘regulating’ the bogie, used to land and launch vessels on and off the company’s slipway by the River Mersey.

One of the bogie’s steel side-posts weighing approximately 1.8 tonnes and measuring 31-foot tall, fell and fatally struck the employee on the back of the head.

Merseyside shipbuilder, Carmet Marine Limited was fined after a worker was fatally struck in the head trying to secure equipment to launch vessels off the river Mersey (pictured). Photograph: Wikimedia / Rept0n1x

In HSE's investigation that followed, it was found that the steel side-post had only been secured to the crossbeam on the bogie by two slackened bolts and was not supported by a crane or other means at the time of the incident.

Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard how Carmet Marine Limited had failed to carry out a suitable risk assessment and implement a safe system of work. The company did also not provide information, instruction, training or supervision to its employees during the task of regulating the slipway.

Carmet Marine Limited of Riverbank Road, Wirral, pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work eAct 1974. The company was fined £25,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,000.

Speaking after the hearing, investigating HSE inspector Lorna Sherlock said: “This incident was entirely preventable if the risk had been identified and suitable control measures put in place. Adequate training and supervision should also have been in place to ensure the regulating of the slipway was carried out safely by employees.”


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