Middlesbrough firm fined after worker hurt by 600kg bag of fertiliser
A North East fertiliser company has been fined after a worker was seriously injured when a 600kg bag of ammonium nitrate fell on him.
Robert Dearlove, 32, was part of a team clearing up a spillage after several bags of ammonium nitrate fell from a stack at a Fertiliser Solutions Ltd warehouse at Dawson’s Wharf, in Middlesbrough.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), prosecuting, told Teesside Magistrates’ Court one operative was sweeping up the spilled ammonium nitrate, while Mr Dearlove, also from Middlesbrough, hooked the fallen bags onto the arms of a forklift truck.
The men were working near the remaining stack of bags which was stacked three high and had noticed that two bags on the third layer were leaning to one side. After Mr Dearlove hooked up the last of the fallen bags to the forklift truck, he turned around with his back to the stack.
One of the bags from the third layer fell and struck him on the back, forcing him over and causing him to strike his head on the floor. He suffered a serious back injury, a fractured right thigh and ligament damage to his left leg.
He was in hospital for three weeks following the incident, had to wear a back brace for five months and later underwent surgery on his back. He has not replica watches been able to return to work since the 29 April 2008 incident due to ongoing back pain and limited movement.
Fertiliser Solutions Ltd, of Dawson’s Wharf, Middlesbrough was fined a total of and ordered to pay in costs after pleading guilty to two offences, one breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and one breach of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
After the case, HSE Inspector Catherine Rimmer, said:
“Three years after an incident that could have easily been avoided, Robert Dearlove is still suffering as a result of his injuries.
“Although the company had a risk assessment for the bag store, which had identified bags falling from the stacks as a hazard, the control measures were simply too generic and made no reference to any safe working procedu replica watches res.
“Had the two bags that remained on the third layer of the stack, and which were seen ‘leaning’, been removed with a forklift truck before allowing workers into the area to clear up the spilled product, Mr Dearlove would not have been injured.
“The incident highlights the importance for all companies in the fertiliser industry to ensure that they have effective arrangements in place for the safe stacking and de replica watches stacking of fertiliser bags and for dealing with bag falls from stacks.”
Notes to editors
HSE Inspector Catherine Rimmer is available for interviews upon request. Media please note Mr Dearlove does not wish to do any interviews.
Fert replica watches iliser Solutions Ltd was fined for breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, which states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”
Fertiliser Solutions Ltd was fined for breaching Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which states: “Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work.”
At the time of the incident Fertiliser Solutions Ltd was part of the J Bunn Group which was taken over by Koch Fertiliser Ltd in March 2011.