Safety Concerns Identified Relating To St Amant Fisherman’s Death

Workplace Injury Specialists Call For Lessons To Be Learned


A new report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has revealed that an incident in which a fisherman died after falling overboard from a boat in January 2012 happened on a vessel with deck walls lower than the statutory height.

The MAIB stated that parts of the scallop dredger St Amant’s bulwarks were lower than necessary, after it was granted an exemption from complying with rules. However, the exemption was not reviewed in line with official procedures.

Steven Robertson is thought to have died when he tripped or slipped on equipment on the deck while not wearing a life jacket or beacon. No one witnessed the incident, but the MAIB claimed the captain and crew had a poor attitude to creating safe working environment.

Recommendations have been made to ensure problems identified have been resolved by those in charge of the St Amant.

Irwin Mitchell’s specialist workplace injury lawyers act for people who have suffered serious injury in work accidents, as well as the families of people in killed in such incidents.

Elaine Russell, a serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Glasgow office, said: “This report has highlighted very worrying failings and concerns over the safety on the boat involved, with the MAIB even going so far as to suggest the incident could have been prevented if proper precautions were in place.

“It is absolutely vital that the recommendations made by the authority are acted upon to ensure that maritime safety in general can be improved.

“The risks faced by those working at sea cannot be underestimated and it is vital that workers are given all of the support they need to be able to undertake their tasks in the safest possible manner.

“We would urge all employers to recognise their responsibilities in the area and ensure the circumstances seen here are not repeated in the future.”