£243k fine after worker loses leg at wind farm

Grant Prior 14 years ago
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Talisman Energy (UK) Ltd and Scaldis Salvage and Marine Contractors B.V. were fined a total of £243,750 at Aberdeen Sheriff Court last week after a worker lost his leg during work on a wind farm.

The incident took place on 25 August 2006, 20 kilometres offshore in the Moray Firth, during construction of the Beatrice Windfarm Turbine B, one of two wind turbine generators which were being built to provide power to the Beatrice AP Oil Platform.

Alexander Murray, 48, from Aberdeen, was standing on a partly completed structure while another part was lowered into place by a heavy lift vessel, when the part swung towards him and crushed his left leg.

The incident resulted in Murray requiring to undergo the amputation of his leg

The case was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive and reported to with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service Health and Safety Division.

Specialist prosecutors from that Division then prepared the case for prosecution and brought the case to court, resulting in a guilty plea being tendered from the two companies.

Following the case, Elaine Taylor, Head of the COPFS Health and Safety Division, said: “Failures to properly respect health and safety can have a huge impact on people’s lives.

“Everyone has the right to a safe working environment. It is the responsibility of employers to ensure this. When they fail to meet their responsibilities they can expect to be prosecuted.

“Working alongside colleagues in the HSE, our specialist prosecutors use their experience and expertise to meet the challenges of these complex and serious cases.

“In this case, as a result of this joint working, both companies pled guilty which meant that the case was resolved without the case proceeding to trial and witnesses being required to give evidence.

“This wholly avoidable incident has had a devastating effect on Mr Murray’s life . We hope, however, that he can derive some comfort from our commitment to prosecute those in breach of health and safety legislation and to work with the enforcing authorities to raise standards of health and safety in the workplace, hopefully to prevent similar incidents in future.”

Following the case, HSE Principal Inspector Marc Nunn said: “Mr Murray lost his leg in this avoidable incident that could have easily had far worse consequences.

“The case demonstrates the importance of adequately planning and assessing the risks, and implementing sensible management controls, for all lifting activities.

“Both Talisman and Scaldis should reasonably have foreseen the potential for the load to move, and taken measures to prevent their personnel being exposed to the hazards of a swinging load.”

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