Ship building company fined after employee killed by falling steel post


A Merseyside shipbuilding and repair company has been fined after an employee was fatally injured after being struck by a 31-foot steel post.


On 30 March 2017, the 23-year-old employee and four other workers of Carmet Marine Limited had been adapting or ‘regulating’ the bogie, which is used to land and launch vessels on and off the company’s slipway by the River Mersey. One of the bogie’s steel side-posts weighing approximately 1800kg fell and fatally struck the employee on the back of the head.


The HSE’s investigation found that the steel side-post had only been secured to the crossbeam on the bogie by two slackened bolts and was not supported by a crane or other means at the time of the incident. Carmet Marine Limited failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and implement a safe system of work. In addition, the company did not provide the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure the health and safety at work of its employees during the task of regulating the slipway.


Carmet Marine Limited of Riverbank Road, Bromborough, Wirral, pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £25,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,000.


Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Lorna Sherlock said: “This incident was entirely preventable if the risk had been identified and suitable control measures put in place.


Adequate training and supervision should also have been in place to ensure the regulating of the slipway was carried out safely by employees.”


HSE August 2021

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