A team of engineers were loading wind turbine blades onto a sea barge for delivery to Greater Gabbard, off the Suffolk coast, on 21 May 2010. During the loading of wind turbine components at Pakeston Quay, Harwich, a 2.11 tonne part of the blade transport arrangement fell off, crushing and fatally injuring one worker and seriously injuring another.
Chelmsford Crown Court heard both workers were employed by Siemens Windpower A/S (SWP) but were working for Fluor Ltd, the principal contractor.
The HSE investigation revealed serious safety failings in the two firms’ management systems for the loading operation, which allowed vital parts of equipment to go unchecked before being lifted.
Following a four-week trial in July, prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Fluor Ltd was found guilty of breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and ordered to pay £275,000 in fines and £271,048 costs.
Siemens Windpower A/S (SWP) were charged with the same offence and pleaded guilty at an earlier stage, and they were also charged under Section 2 (1) of the Act (duty specific to employees). They were fined £375,000 and ordered to pay costs of £105,355.