HSE Fines Salmon Farming Firm Over Death Of Worker

Expert Calls For Lessons To Be Learned

15.11.2011

Scottish salmon farming company West Minch Salmon Ltd has been fined £70,000 for safety failings in relation to an incident in which a 61-year-old worker drowned.

Peter Kenneth Duce died in February 2008 when the boat he was in with four colleagues capsized while they were inspecting fish cages.

An investigation into the work accident by the Health and Safety Executive revealed a series of safety failings, including a failure to prepare suitable risk assessments and that the boat should only carry a maximum of three people.

It was also confirmed that clear advice and instructions had not been given to staff on how buoyancy equipment, which had been provided, should be used.

Elaine Russell, an accident at work claims specialist at Irwin Mitchell’s Glasgow office, represents workers who have suffered serious injury as a result of safety failings in the workplace.

Commenting on this case, she said: “Health and safety needs to be a fundamental priority for all firms, but time and time again we see cases like this emerge when companies simply do not meet their responsibilities.

“Risk assessments play a key role in ensuring the highest standards of workplace safety and need to carried out to the most suitable degree. While it is also important to provide tools to ensure people can complete their tasks, this needs to be twinned with full advice and guidance on their use.

“This case highlights the devastating consequences that accidents at work can have and it is vital that every step is taken to ensure lessons are learned and the same mistakes are not made again.”