FIBCs (flexible intermediate bulk containers, HSE, fine, business

£150,000 fine for Packaging manufacturer for unsafe stacking

3 December 2019

A worker was using a forklift truck near a row of FIBCs (flexible intermediate bulk containers), when they reversed the vehicle and tore a bulk bag. While attempting to repair the tear, an FIBC weighing about a tonne at the top of the stack fell on the worker. 

The employee was left with several fractures to his pelvis and legs.

Following the HSE investigators it was determined that the firm stacked FIBCs to a height of 2.2 m and found that arrangements at the site, for the everyday use such as storage, reuse and repair of FIBCs, created a risk of injury to persons.

The companies turnover was more than £33 million in 2018 and they admitted breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and Regulation 10(4) of the Work at Height Regulations at aMagistrates’ Court.  In addition to the £150,000 fine, the company was ordered to pay £1,061 in court costs.

Many companies, not just plastic manufacturing use this type of container and they should ensure that the use of FIBCs requires safe stacking formations and safe systems for reuse and repair,

If the company adopted the correct standards, the person would not have been injured and would have gone home safe at the end of the working day. 

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