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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 January 2006, 13:42 GMT
'No risk check' before oil deaths
Victims and Brent Bravo Oil Rig
The men died in the platform's utility leg in September 2003
Failure to carry out a risk assessment on a North Sea platform was the crucial issue in the death of two oil workers, a fatal accident inquiry has heard.

Sean McCue, 22, and Keith Moncrieff, 45, died in the utility leg of the Brent Bravo platform in September 2003.

The men had gone to inspect a leaky patch on a degasser line in the platform's utility leg.

In his final submission for the Health and Safety Executive, David Sheldon QC said the patch was not fit for service.

He told Aberdeen Sheriff Court that the patch was "a quick fix, short cut repair" which followed neither common practice offshore nor Shell's own standards.

Leaking badly

Mr Sheldon said this reflected poorly on the corporate attitude towards safety critical maintenance.

He said it was clear by August 2003 that the patch had failed and was leaking badly.

The court was told that the failure to carry out a risk assessment was crucial and Mr Sheldon said this should have looked at the leaking patch and the valves which failed a trip test in August.

He concluded that all of the available pieces of the safety jigsaw were available to platform personnel but no-one stopped to put the pieces together.

Mr Moncrieff, from Invergowrie, near Dundee, and Mr McCue, from Kennoway in Fife, died on 11 September, 2003.

The oil firm Shell was fined 900,000 following their deaths.

Sheriff Colin Harris said he would issue his written determination later.

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