Workplace Report December 2015

Health & safety - HSE Monitor

Shadow of death over European ports 

It has been a particularly dark year for safety in the docks, according to the European Transport Workers’ Federation, with workers killed in ports across the continent. 

“Although these accidents have occurred in different circumstances and according to different dynamics, we are experiencing growing pressure on dockworkers, who are demanded to be more and more productive,” said ETF Dockers’ Section chair Terje Samuelsen. He said there was a “safety emergency” that must be tackled.

Last month, PD Teesport Ltd was fined £400,000 and ordered to pay costs of over £100,000 following the death of agency worker Robert Harrison. He fell eight metres onto the steel deck of a ship’s hold at Hartlepool Dock in September 2012. 

HSE inspector Cain Mitchell commented that the risk of a fall was obvious and that precautions, including the use of soft landing systems, might have ensured no great injury could result from a fall.