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A Liverpool port operating company has been fined GBP300,000 after an agency worker was struck by a load that resulted in an amputation. Liverpool magistrates’ court heard that on 28 May 2015, three workers for the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company (MDHC) at the Port of Liverpool in Seaforth were loading bundles of rebar onto HGV trailers. The injured employee was acting as banksman whilst his two colleagues were operating their forklift trucks as part of a tandem lift manoeuvre.

A single bundle of rebar weighing 1,924 kg, suspended on the forks of the two trucks, was struck by the reversing HGV’s headboard causing it to fall onto the employee stood on the far side by the HGV’s cab. Following the incident, the operative sustained multiple fractures, lacerations, scarring and abrasion, ligament reconstruction to his left knee and underwent four operations, which resulted in the amputation of two toes of his left foot. He has been unable to return to work since the incident.

An HSE investigation found no suitable risk assessment relating to the hazards arising from loading bundles of rebar onto reversing flatbed trailers had been carried out.

The tandem lifting operation was also not properly planned, supervised or carried out in a safe manner.

MDHC pleaded guilty to Health and Safety at Work breaches and it was also ordered to pay costs of GBP7,593.55.

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