Stena Line fined £400,000 after worker hit by van reversing out of ferry in Birkenhead

A BIRKENHEAD based ferry operator has been fined £400,000 after a worker was hit by a 3.5 tonne van reversing out of a vessel.

Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard that on September 17, 2017, a pontoon traffic marshall for Stena Line Limited was hit by a delivery van at the company’s port terminal in Birkenhead.

A 3.5 tonne van was being reversed off the Stena Lagan ferry onto the pontoon area by a port service operative.

The court heard that the van had reversed over the worker’s head and body after the collision had knocked him down.

He has also been left with double vision in the other eye and suffers from ongoing mental health problems.

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An investigation into the incident was launched by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which found that there were ‘no considerations’ of physical segregation of pedestrian operatives from moving vehicles when ferries were being unloaded.

It was found that Stena Line Limited had failed to adequately assess the risks to pedestrians from moving vehicles and consequently put in place effective control measures leading to a safe system of work.

Stena Line Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

The company was fined £400,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6576.15.

HSE inspector Rohan Lye said:“The injuries sustained by the victim, which affect him to this day, were easily preventable.

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“The risks to pedestrians from moving vehicles is an obvious one which should have been identified and controlled.

“Had Stena Line Limited employed suitable control measures the life changing physical and emotional injuries which continue to impact the victim and his family would have been avoided.”