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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 March 2007, 15:35 GMT
Firm fined for offshore accident
Aberdeen Sheriff Court [Pic: Crown Copyright]
The oil firm was fined at Aberdeen Sheriff Court
An oil company has been fined 17,000 after two workers were seriously injured on one of its rigs.

Graeme Simpson and William Graham have been unable to work since they were hit by equipment on the Stena Spey platform off Fraserburgh in February last year.

Stena Drilling admitted breaching health and safety regulations after the incident in the North Sea.

Fining Stena at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, Sheriff Annella Cowan said staff deserved the highest safety standards.

Part of the assembly equipment rotated violently, striking the men and leaving them lying on the floor severely injured.

Emergency surgery

They were airlifted to hospital for treatment.

London-based Stena admitted failing to install an electronic device or software programme which would have prevented such an incident.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard neither Mr Simpson nor Mr Graham had worked since the accident.

Mr Simpson had to undergo emergency surgery and was in intensive care for two days. He suffered blunt trauma injuries to his chest and abdomen and multiple broken ribs.

The court heard Mr Simpson's breath capacity was now only half what it was before the incident and doctors had told him he was "very lucky" to be alive.

His colleague suffered a broken collar bone and breaks in both sides of his sternum.

'Great concern'

The court heard the Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation into the incident.

It was then discovered that a safety upgrade which should have been implemented in 1996 by the company had not been put in place.

Stena's solicitor Rona Jamieson told the court the incident had been of "great concern".

The court was told the company had now put appropriate safety measures in place to try and ensure such an incident did not happen again.

Sheriff Cowan - who said the maximum fine available to her was 20,000 - said: "Not only did this serious and frightening accident happen, but it had been at risk of happening for 10 years."

It is understood Stena is being sued for compensation as a result of the accident.




SEE ALSO
Two hurt in accident on oil rig
03 Feb 06 |  Scotland

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