Updated Apr 29, 2021

Employee left with serious injuries by clamp truck

An employee sustained serious injuries when they were hit by a clamp truck in a paper reel shed at Port of Sheerness Limited.

The employee was hit by the five tonne clamp truck leaving him knocked unconscious and with an open leg fracture. He was airlifted to a hospital where his leg was amputated.

After investigating the incident, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the Port of Sheerness Limited had placed employees and others at a significant risk by failing to ensure that pedestrians and vehicles could circulate and operate safely. Less serious accidents had happened previously, with supervisors being hit by vehicles or product, but only the immediate work relating to the incidents had been reviewed. It was common for supervisors to be working amongst five to six clamp trucks while supervising paper reel unloads.

The Port of Sheerness Limited were fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,886 after pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

HSE inspector Joanne Williams commented: "This incident has resulted in life changing injuries in a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to identify the roles of the supervisors in the reel sheds and how the work was actually being undertaken. They did not learn from the previous incidents involving supervisors and lift trucks to review supervisory activities across the port. There is no excuse for companies that neglect this risk."