August 31, 2018

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In Court

Siemens and E-On fined after falling roof panel causes worker neck and spine injuries

A lifting operation carried out at the time of the incident was not properly planned, appropriately supervised or carried out in a safe manner, says HSE.

Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery Limited and E.On UK Plc. have been fined after a worker was injured during turbine maintenance work when a roof panel fell on him.

Dumfries Sherriff Court was told how, between February and March 2013, Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery Limited undertook maintenance work on a turbine at Steven’s Croft PowerStation, near Lockerbie for E.On UK Plc.

Before the turbine could be accessed, the court heard, acoustic panels were removed from an enclosure surrounding the turbine. This included some from the roof of the enclosure.

On 11 March 2013, an overhead travelling crane was being used to lift parts of the turbine out of the chamber when a roof panel fell from the top of the enclosure onto the head of a Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery Limited employee, causing him to sustain neck and spine injuries.

The HSE’s investigation found that the lifting operation carried out at the time of the incident was not properly planned, appropriately supervised or carried out in a safe manner. Furthermore, safe access into the enclosure was not provided to workers, nor were they given information regarding the structure of the enclosure.

Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery Limited of Faraday House, Camberley, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8 of the Lifting Operation and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £12,000.

E.On UK PLC pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £10,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Principal Inspector Hazel Dobb said, “The contractor’s injuries were severe and he could have easily been killed. This serious incident could have been avoided if basic safe guards had been put in place.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

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