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Middlesbrough firm fined after worker hurt by 600kg bag of fertiliser

Fertiliser Solutions Ltd. has been fined after a worker was seriously injured when a 600kg bag of ammonium nitrate fell on him.

Robert Dearlove, 32, was part of a team clearing up a spillage after several bags of ammonium nitrate fell from a stack at a warehouse in Middlesbrough.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reports that one operative was sweeping up the spilled ammonium nitrate, while Mr Dearlove hooked the fallen bags onto the arms of a forklift truck.

The men were working near the remaining stack of bags which was stacked three high and had noticed that two bags on the third layer were leaning to one side. After Mr Dearlove hooked up the last of the fallen bags to the forklift truck, he turned around with his back to the stack.

One of the bags from the third layer fell and struck him on the back, forcing him over and causing him to strike his head on the floor. He suffered a serious back injury, a fractured right thigh and ligament damage to his left leg.

The company was fined a total of £10,500 and ordered to pay £12,411.45 in costs after pleading guilty to two offences, one breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and one breach of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

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