Two Global Companies Fined Over An Incident

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Two global companies have been sentenced after a worker was killed and another seriously injured during construction of an offshore wind farm.

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On 21 May 2010, a 2.11 tonne part of wind turbine blade transport arrangement fell off, crushing and fatally injuring one worker and seriously injuring another.  This incident happened when a team of engineers were loading the wind turbine blades onto a sea barge at Pakeston Quay, Harwich, for delivery to Greater Gabbard, off the Suffolk coast.

Frank Kroeger, the injured engineer, was airlifted to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge. He suffered life-changing injuries of a ruptured spleen, lacerations to his liver, a collapsed lung collapsing, multiple rib fractures on his left side and significant crush injuries to his right arm and hand, with nerve damage to his thumb and fingers.  He spent almost three weeks in hospital in the UK, followed by a long period of rehabilitation and treatment in Germany.

The family of the fatally-injured man have asked that his name not be released.

The two workers were employed by Siemens Windpower A/S (SWP) but were working for Fluor Ltd, the principal contractor.  Serious investigations were made by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).  HSE is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety.  HSE thoroughly investigated both the firms’ management systems for the loading operation.

After a four-week trial in July, HSE found Fluor Ltd guilty of breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974.  Siemens Windpower A/S (SWP) was  charged under Section 2 (1) breach of the same act but pleaded guilty at an earlier stage.  The court ordered Fluor Ltd to pay £375,000 in fines with costs of £105,355 and Siemens Windpower was ordered to pay £275,000 in fines and £271,048 costs.

HSE Inspector Julie Rayner said, “This case clearly highlights the need to ensure that relevant information is considered when lift plans are produced to ensure that all of the relevant risks are considered.”

Source: HSE