Shipping company fined after driver struck by paper reel

A shipping company must pay nearly £40,000 after a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) driver was injured when he was struck by a paper reel that was being loaded onto his trailer.

Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 7 September 2016, an agency driver working for Jenkins Shipping Company at its Liverpool depot was assisting in the loading of paper reels onto his HGV trailer when a reel slipped from the clamp attachment of the forklift truck being used to load the reels.

The reel struck the driver’s lower body and legs and he sustained several lower limb fractures.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that HGV drivers working for Jenkins regularly assisted with loading operations by either holding back the curtain of the HGV trailer or strapping the reels ready for transit, placing individuals either near the drop zone or moving vehicles.

The investigation found that the company failed to have a safe system of work in place to keep pedestrians and vehicles separate during loading operations.

The Belfast-headquartered business pleaded guilty to breaching sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,306.16.

HSE inspector Catherine Lyon said: “By ensuring a suitable safe system of work was in place and implemented, the life-changing injuries sustained by the HGV driver could have been avoided.

“Suitable safe systems include ensuring that pedestrians are located in a safe area, away from moving vehicles and falling loads.”

With more than 93,000sqm of warehouse space throughout the UK and Ireland, Jenkins Shipping Company holds cargo or other commodities before onward distribution. Other forest products that it handles include paper in pallets, wood pulp, timber and plywood.