A cargo handling company, based in Aberdeen, has been fined after a worker suffered serious injury when he was struck by cargo being transported on the site he was working on.
North East Stevedoring Company (NESC) was working at Clipper Quay, Aberdeen Harbour, in June 2013 when the accident took place.
Containers holding loose pipes were being transported by a forklift truck, driven by a NESC employee, from Clipper Quay to within reach of a crane on the quayside. The worker was carrying out his duties as a ships agent for his employer, Euroline Shipping Company Limited, and overseeing loading.
As he was making his way to the vessel the pipes were due to be loaded onto, he was struck in the lower back by the cargo as it was being transported.
He suffered a fracture to the left elbow, fractured several vertebrae, and has not been able to return to work since the incident.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that NESC failed to ensure sufficient separation between vehicles and pedestrians, that they did not exclude pedestrians from the work area, or provide pedestrian routes.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told that NESC was ultimately responsible for the arrangement of their work site and the safety of those using it.
NESC pleaded guilty to breaching Section 17(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, and was fined £12,000.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Sarah Liversidge said: “That law states duty holders must ensure the workplace is organised in such a way that pedestrians and vehicles can circulate in a safe manner.
“NESC failed in that undertaking. There was insufficient separation between vehicles and pedestrians within the loading area at the quay that resulted in the worker sustaining serious injury that has prevented him from returning to work.”