An offshore services company has been fined by Aberdeen Sheriff Court after an employee fell approximately twenty three metres off a platform and into the sea.
The worker, a 37 year old from Newcastle, Tyne and Wear died of his injuries before he reached hospital.
The employee was tasked with cleaning up the lower deck from any debris which could potentially injure diving staff if blown into the sea.
A successful descent with the aid of ropes had allowed the worker to remove any unwanted objects and take any appropriate photographs. However, on his ascent back to the platform the employee stopped below the hatch to adjust his ropes.
On beginning is ascent again, the main and safety ropes caught on a sharp edge shearing through both ropes and causing the worker to fall.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into how the incident occurred revealed significant health and safety failings. The report highlighted how the work had not been properly risk assessed and planned. Had an appropriate plan been put into place the accident could have been prevented.
The court was told that the company procedures and the Industry guidelines (IRATA) had not been adhered to.
After the case was heard, HSE Inspector Katie McCabe, said:
“Assessing the risks of that job properly would have identified that the potentially sharp edge presented a very clear danger to anyone suspended and working on ropes rigged against it”.
“However, the company failed to do this so failed to take safety precautions and instead, [The worker] fell to his death.”
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