October 5 (SeeNews) - Siemens Windpower A/S and Fluor Ltd were sentenced on Friday and ordered to pay GBP 650,000 (USD 988,000/EUR 876,000) in fines after in 2010 a worker was killed and another seriously injured during the construction of the 500-MW Greater Gabbard wind farm in UK waters.
The incident happened on May 21 when during the loading of turbine blades onto a sea barge a part of the blade transport arrangement fell off. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the UK workplace safety regulator, said its investigation found serious safety failings in the two companies' management systems for the loading operation.
The two workers were employed by Siemens but were working for Fluor, the principal contractor. After a four-week trial in July, Fluor was on Friday ordered to pay GBP 275,000 in fines and GBP 271,048 costs. Siemens pleaded guilty at an earlier stage but was also sentenced on Friday and ordered to pay GBP 375,000 in fines and GBP 105,355 costs.
"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," HSE inspector Julie Rayner said after the hearing in Chelmsford Crown Court.
The wind farm, a joint venture between UK utility SSE Plc and Germany's RWE Innogy, uses 140 Siemens turbines and had its official opening in August 2013.
(GBP 1.0 = USD 1.520/EUR 1.348)