Schlumberger Oilfield UK Fined Over Radiation Safety Breach

'Lessons Must Be Learnt' From 2008 Incident


A workplace injury expert has called for serious lessons to be learnt from an incident which saw up to 14 workers potentially exposed to radiation.

Offshore industry firm Schlumberger Oilfield UK has been fined £300,000 after admitting to breaching safety legislation in an incident which took place on a rig around 200 miles east of Dundee in 2008.

Materials of a radioactive nature were found lying on a drill floor for around four hours, after the source was not loaded properly onto a scientific tool used to gain data from reservoirs.

David Urpeth, national head of workplace injury and illness at Irwin Mitchell, welcomed the decision to fine Schlumberger, which was contracted to carry out the work on the rig.

He explained: “The offshore industry is one of the most dangerous to work in, so it is vital that all companies in the sector always put a focus on guaranteeing the safety of workers.

“This incident is an example of when regulations employed widely in the industry have not been followed, exposing employees to risks that could potentially have a long-term impact on their health.

“I hope that this case, as well as the substantial fine handed out in relation to it, serves as a deterrent that will ensure every firm involved in the energy industry improve awareness and knowledge of safety guidelines.”