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PROSECUTION FALL FROM HEIGHT

Major client and contractor fined £300k after death of technician

Shell UK Limited and Amec Group Limited have each been fined £150,000 and ordered to pay £41,500 prosecution costs after pleading guilty to breaches of HSW Act Sections 2 and 3. The prosecutions follow an incident in November 2005 when David Soanes was removing stair treads on the Sole Pit Clipper offshore gas installation. He fell 5m to the landing below through the space created by removing two treads and suffered severe head and leg injuries. Mr Soanes was employed by Amec Group Limited and Shell UK Limited operate the Clipper installation.

HSE Principal Inspector, Dr David Perry said: the incident resulted from the companies “failing to manage well known and readily foreseeable hazards, in particular falling from height. Had the companies carried out adequate risk assessments and implemented and supervised the necessary control measures this accident could have been avoided”

Comment:

The oil and gas exploration industry website ‘Step Change in Safety’ is designed to the enable the sharing of information and facilitating cooperation in the sector in order to prevent such incidents. Anyone may access all parts of the site and read or download resources which will also be found useful by those working in onshore construction.

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