Shell fined £60k after gas cylinder projectiles hit technician on oil platform
Tuesday 7th August 2018
From the archive: Just so you know, this article is more than 3 years old.
The accident happened on 10 November 2014 on the Brent Delta installation, which has since been decommissioned and was removed from its concrete legs last year.
Shell was fined £60,000 at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on 3 August after pleading guilty to breaching s 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.
The court was told that a technician was replacing a gas cylinder in a fire extinguishing system. He rolled what he believed to be an empty cylinder along the floor and removed the protective cap before realising it was fully charged.
The trigger mechanism activated and a jet of gas from the cylinder caused the technician to drop it on the floor where its valve sheared. The cylinder and valve became projectiles, which struck and seriously injured another technician.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Shell had failed to eliminate the risks associated with handling pressurised cylinders.
The company also had failed to remove cylinders that were not safe for use and had not provided staff with information and instructions on how to safely handle the energised containers, the HSE said.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said Valero Energy UK and B&A Contracts face charges under ss 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Dennis Riley, Robert Broome, Andrew Jenkins and Julie Schmitz died in the blast at Pembroke Refinery’s amine recovery unit on 2 June 2011. A fifth worker, Andrew Phillips, was very seriously injured. Chevron operated the refinery at the time of the incident.
The Eastern Daily Pressreported that 56-year-old Barry Joy and 28-year-old Daniel Timbers had been working at Harford Attachments’ new factory on Spar Road in Norwich when the paint booth they were working in exploded and turned into a fireball.
Siemens had been contracted to service the turbine for E.ON between February and March 2013. Dumfries Sheriff Court was told that ceiling panels had to be removed from the turbine’s soundproof enclosure before workers could access it. On 11 March 2013, an overhead travelling crane was lifting parts of the turbine when a roof panel fell from the top of the enclosure. It hit a Siemens employee on the head and he sustained serious neck and back injuries.
The North Sea operator was handed the notice on 18 July after it had exposed staff to “serious risk” when a sling used to lift the riser failed on 4 May 2018 and dropped the section around 1.5 m on to the Magnus platform.The notice claims that EnQuest failed to ensure that contractor Odjfell Drilling’s lifting plans had “effective measures in place”.
According to the 17 files obtained in response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) Act request, 23 “issues” were found at Shell UK’s plants, one of which the documents noted had not been resolved, and 10 issues at ExxonMobil Chemical’s facilities, four of which were described as “ongoing”. The documents which cover the HSE’s inspections at the two companies’ adjacent Mossmorran plants and Braefoot Bay marine terminal in 2015, 2016 and 2017, do not provide any further detail on the unresolved issues but do on some of those that have been closed out.
An Air Liquide (UK) emergency response team was disposing of redundant lecture bottles – small compressed gas cylinders – on 7 February 2015 after the company had failed to arrange for a specialist contractor to handle the job. Two workers were cutting open the bottles held in a purpose-built enclosure with a hacksaw operated from the outside. A third, wearing a bomb disposal suit and respiratory protective equipment, was carrying one of the cylinders that had been cut open when about 50 ml of highly hazardous liquid spilled on to the floor.