Tyne & Wear

North Sea oil rig fall death company fined

Brent Alpha Image copyright Shell
Image caption Lee Bertram fell to his death from Brent Charlie, one of four platforms in the Brent Oilfield off the Scottish coast (pictured is the Brent Alpha platform)

A company has been fined over the death of an oil rig worker who fell 75ft (23m) from a North Sea platform.

Lee Bertram, 37, from Newcastle, died in 2011 when the ropes he was using on Shell's Brent Charlie platform off the sheared on a sharp edge.

Lowestoft-based Bilfinger Salamis UK admitted breaching regulations after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Aberdeen Sheriff Court fined the firm £100,000.

On 16 June, Mr Bertram was carrying out a sweep for dropped objects that could fall into the water.

As he was pulling himself back on to the platform, which lies in the Brent oilfield about 115 miles (186km) north east of Lerwick in Shetland, both his main and safety back up ropes sheared.

The HSE said he hit steelwork before landing in the water and, though showing sign of consciousness during his rescue, he died from his injuries before reaching the onsite hospital.

The HSE said the job Mr Bertram was undertaking had not been properly planned and was contrary both to industry guidelines and the company's own procedures.

Bilfinger Salamis UK admitted breaching regulation four of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

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