Home / News / BP fined £650,000 over death of worker who fell off oil platform into sea

BP fined £650,000 over death of worker who fell off oil platform into sea

Aug 18, 2023Aug 18, 2023

Man sustained fatal injuries when he fell through open grating on Unity installation in North Sea in 2014

The oil and gas company BP has been fined £650,000 after a worker fell to his death through open grating on one of its offshore platforms.

Sean Anderson, 43, sustained fatal injuries when he fell into the sea from the lower deck of BP’s Unity installation in September 2014.

The BP Exploration Operating Company was found guilty of a health and safety breach after an eight-day trial at Aberdeen sheriff court that ended on 14 July.

The company failed to have suitable and sufficient control measures in place regarding the open gratings on the lower deck, the court heard.

Anderson fell through the open grate at about 4am and a fast-rescue craft found him face down in the water after the alarm was raised. Despite attempts to resuscitate him, he was pronounced dead and the cause of death was recorded as head and chest injuries.

Debbie Carroll of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, Scotland’s death investigation authority, said: “Sean Anderson’s death was entirely foreseeable and could have been avoided if BP had taken all reasonably practicable precautions.

“His death and the risk of fatal injury to which others were exposed cannot be understated. There were serious deficiencies in the safety arrangements adopted around the management of open gratings which BP should have identified.”

She said BP “could have done more to address the risks which is shown by the post-incident changes in procedures. Our thoughts are with Mr Anderson’s family at this time”.

Anderson, from the Tyne and Wear area, was employed by the industrial services company Cape and was part of a team carrying out routine maintenance on the Unity platform, 97 miles off the coast of Aberdeen in Scotland.

A spokesperson for the Health and Safety Executive said: “BP failed in their duty to have suitable and sufficient control measures in place in respect to open gratings on the platform. Ultimately these failures resulted in Mr Anderson’s death. Our thoughts remain with Mr Anderson’s family and friends.”

A BP spokesperson said: “We acknowledge the outcome of the court proceedings. This was a tragic incident. While we know nothing can be said to change the pain felt by Sean Anderson’s family and friends, our deepest condolences remain firmly with them to this day.”