Matthew Grey of Darlington was killed and Norman Jackson of North Shields was injured while they were working inside a cargo oil tank 20 metres below the deck on the installation on 6 January 2007. Both men were employed by Aker Kvaerner Offshore Partner Ltd who were in turn contracted by the installation operator, Talisman Energy UK Ltd, to carry out extensive work in the cargo tank. A pneumatic hoist was being used to lift various items out of the tank through a small hatch at main deck level. Two steel beam clamps weighing 21.5 kilograms were among items which fell from the load. These struck the men below.
At Aberdeen Sheriff Court today Talisman Energy UK Ltd was fined £600,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Aker Kvaerner Offshore Partner Ltd were fined £600,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 of the same Act. These fines included a discount of 25 per cent for tendering pleas of guilty.
HSE Principal Inspector Colin Richards said:
"This tragic incident should remind everyone in the offshore industry and elsewhere that lifting operations are hazardous and must be carried out in a safe manner. The system of work must include methods to prohibit personnel from entering the danger zone while the lifting operation is taking place. It must also include an effective and agreed system of communication among the personnel involved. This system must include the final confirmation that the lifting operation has been completed and only then is it safe to allow personnel to enter the designated danger zone.
"In this case visual signals were being used in conditions which made that inappropriate and when the permit-to-work stipulated the use of radios. The companies involved had not ensured that radios were supplied and used."
1. Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: "It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety."
2. Section 2(1) of the Act states: "It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees."
3. Guidance on safety in lifting operations can be found at;