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Port berth operator fined after worker's legs amputated

06-08-2012

A berth operator at an Essex Port has been fined £20,000 for safety failings after an employee had both legs amputated after they were crushed by a cargo container.

William James, 73, was working on Stanton Grove Limited's berth 47 within the Port of Tilbury when the incident occurred on 26 March 2010.

The dock worker was returning to a safe refuge under a quayside crane when he was knocked down by a 45ft container being lowered by a reach stacker. The driver of the reach stacker, unaware that Mr. James was on the quayside and had been knocked down, continued to lower the container onto his legs. They were crushed to such a degree that they later had to be amputated.

Basildon Crown Court heard that an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Stanton Grove had failed to ensure the safety of Mr. James while he was working on the quayside.

Stanton Grove Limited, based at Tower Wharf, Northfleet, Kent, admitted breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £20,000. The awarding of costs will be determined at a later date.

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