Logistics worker badly injured unloading fridges

A Northampton logistics firm has been prosecuted after an agency worker fell from a loading ramp as he was unloading fridges at its site on the Isle of Grain in Kent.

The warehouse operative, 49, suffered a broken thigh bone in the 1.5 metre fall as he was unloading refrigeration units from a trailer-mounted shipping container. The accident prevented him from working for three months.

Yusen Logistics (UK) appeared before Medway Magistrates last week following an investigation into the November 2013 incident by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

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The court was told the containers had to be unloaded while mounted on a trailer if they arrived at the Thamesport site by road, while sea-arriving containers were unloaded at ground level.

HSE found the workers were using a new unloading ramp, but discovered it had not had the additional edge protection guarding fitted that the company’s other two ramps had in place.

As a result, the injured man had limited protection from the fall when he unbalanced at the top of the ramp while helping to unload the fridges.

Yusen Logistics (UK) was fined £11,000 and ordered to pay £1,067 in costs after admitting a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

HSE Inspector, Rob Hassell, said: “Yusen Logistics failed to make sure the new ramp was fitted with additional edge protection, despite the fact it had two ramps with this type of essential guarding installed.

“Employers should identify where additional edge protection should be provided to safeguard their employees and other workers and then take the necessary action.

“Falls from height remain one of the biggest factors in fatalities and serious injuries to workers throughout the country.”

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