Pure luck averted a serious personal injury at work

Schlumberger Oilfield UK Plc has been fined £300,000 after the Health and Safety Executive found that workers were put at risk of suffering a personal injury at work whilst on a North Sea oil rig.

In April 2008, 14 workers from different companies were found to be at risk on the mobile drilling rig. At the time, Schlumberger was conducting surveying work for the Maersk drilling programme at the offshore Cawdor well, 200 miles from the coast of Dundee. To accomplish this, the men were required to lower a scientific tool, which had a radioactive source, into the well.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told that this tool had not been loaded correctly and laid unnoticed on the drill floor for about four hours. Schlumberger pleaded guilty to contravening the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Gillian Rodaks, one of the HSE inspectors, pointed out that losing control of any source of radiation is extremely serious, and it was pure luck that the tool was spotted reasonably quickly.

If anybody had held it, even for a brief period of time, they would have got a significant dose of radiation which could have injured their hands and led to an increased risk of cancer in the future.

Although instances with the potential severity of this one are rare, irresponsible work practices result in many people lodging personal injury claims every year. Anybody who has suffered a personal injury at work and wishes to lodge a claim for personal injury compensation should first visit a personal injury solicitor to obtain for advice.

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