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Workers worried by accidents at port

PUBLISHED: 18:00 13 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:11 03 March 2010

FELIXSTOWE port workers today claimed they are increasingly concerned at the number of accidents at the busy container terminal, where the workload is growing daily.

FELIXSTOWE port workers today claimed they are increasingly concerned at the number of accidents at the busy container terminal, where the workload is growing daily.

The claims were made today after allegations that there have been more than 830 accidents at the port so far this year.

Officials at the 700 acre-complex refused to confirm or deny the figure, which was leaked to The Evening Star by port staff worried at the number of incidents happening every day.

However, a spokesman for the port said the container terminal was proud of its accident record and this year the number of incidents had fallen by 20 per cent.

A port worker who claimed to have seen the accident statistics on a computer file at the port said the record showed 837 accidents since January.

It was stressed that the vast majority were extremely minor – the type of everyday incidents which happen in workplaces large and small.

"They range from slight things like cut fingers, knocks and grazes to serious incidents on the quaysides and in the container parks. We think it's a huge figure and just shows what is happening here," said the port worker, who refused to be named.

Another worker, who also contacted The Evening Star, said: "This is a dangerous environment to work in and you have to keep your wits about you – and everyone accepts that. But the number of accidents you hear about is very worrying.

"Lots of people are concerned. You think it could be you next, but then thousands of people work here and there will always be accidents.

"It looks bad when details of an accident get out, but I know the management takes them all seriously."

Port corporate affairs manager Paul Davey would not confirm or deny the figures.

He said: "We are not going to discuss information that comes from leaks.

"Safety is the top priority for the Port of Felixstowe and the figures concerning accidents show that so far this year the number of incidents is 20 per cent less than last year.

"We have a significant safety department which works very hard to prevent incidents and ensure that all workers know the rules and regulations and that these are adhered to at all times."

A spokeswoman for the HSE said there were no current or recent investigations into accidents at the port.

Have you witnessed or been involved in an accident at Felixstowe Port? Call the Felixstowe newsdesk on 01394 284109.

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