Daily Management Review

Siemens and Fluor to Pay £1m in Compensations to an Employee Following Death at Work


Siemens and Fluor to Pay £1m in Compensations to an Employee Following Death at Work
In what is being viewed as one of the biggest labour compensation agreements being awarded for one single employee, two of the biggest names in engineering, Siemens and Fluor, will have to pay more than £1m in fines and costs to a man was fatally injured during construction of an offshore wind farm.
The compensation is in connection to an incident that took place during the loading of the wind turbine blades onto a sea barge for delivery to Greater Gabbard, off the Suffolk coast, on 21 May 2010.
One worker was fatally injured and later died while another was seriously injured when Harwich, a 2.11 tonne part of the blade transport arrangement fell off during the loading of wind turbine components at Pakeston Quay.
While both the workers were working for Fluor Ltd, the principal contractor, they were employed by Siemens Windpower A/S (SWP). This came out during the hearing of the incident at the Chelmsford Crown Court.
Frank Kroeger, the injured man had serious injuries that included 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 required a long period of rehabilitation and treatment near his home in Germany after having spent almost three weeks in hospital in the UK.
Serious safety failings in the two firms’ management systems for the loading operation were discovered during the investigations that were carried out by the Health & Safety Executive. The investigations found that the vital parts of equipment were allowed to go unchecked before being lifted that included a missing bolt, which caused the accident and failure to check the bolt and two brackets holding the blade and frame together.  
Fluor Ltd was found guilty of breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 following a four-week trial in July. The company was ordered to pay £275,000 in fines and £271,048 in costs last week.
While pleading guilty at an earlier stage, Siemens Windpower A/S (SWP) was charged with the same offence and also a Section 2 (1) breach of the same act. Siemens was ordered to pay £375,000 in fines with costs of £105,355.
 “This incident could easily have been avoided had suitable systems and procedures been in place to ensure that all loads were properly connected whilst being lifted. Had the right questions been asked when the lift was being planned and had the bolt and two brackets holding the blade and frame together been checked before they were lifted, the death and serious injury of two workers could have been prevented,” said HSE Inspector Julie Rayner after the hearing.
“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,” she said.
(Source: www. shponline.co.uk & www. healthandsafetyatwork.com) 

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