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Friday, 22 February, 2002, 12:40 GMT
Sheriff criticises rig death firms
Glomar Arctic Four
Two men died in the incident in July 1998
The deaths of two oil rig workers might have been prevented if reasonable safety precautions had been taken, a sheriff has ruled.

The safety systems employed by two firms have been heavily criticised by Sheriff Richard Davidson in his judgment after a fatal accident inquiry report.

Richard King, from Jarrow, and Roland Duffell, from Alnwick, died in an explosion on the Glomar Artic IV rig while it was docked for maintenance in Dundee harbour in July 1998.

Dundee Sheriff Court
Safety was described as "slapdash" in court

Sheriff Davidson said that McGregor Energy's failure to carry out an adequate risk assessment was a major contributory factor in the deaths.

His 170-page report levelled a similar accusation at Global Marine, which owned the rig.

Sheriff Davidson's findings highlight a failure at senior management level of the two firms.

Both have already been fined 50,000 and have said their procedures have been tightened since the tragedy.

McGregor Energy Services and Global Marine UK admitted contravening health and safety regulations.

In 1999 Dundee Sheriff Court heard that a system of safety checks on the Glomar Arctic IV was not adhered to prior to the incident and monitoring of the safety system was "rather slapdash".

See also:

05 Jun 00 | Scotland
Cigarette found near blast scene
19 Jul 99 | UK
Firms fined over rig deaths
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