Shell fined for ‘totally avoidable’ accident

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has fined Shell and two of its contractors after a refinery accident left a worker paralysed from the waist down.

The HSE fined Shell UK Oil Products £116,000, and £16,000 costs, saying that the accident was “totally avoidable”.

It also fined Dalprop, the contractor that employed the worker involved, £83,000 plus costs.

Hertel, another Shell contractor, was fined the same amount for its involvement.

The accident took place at the Stanlow Manufacturing Complex at Ellesmere Port, Cheshire in 2007, when a 500 kilogramme container fell 30ft onto a walkway, hitting worker Stephen Rizzotti.

His back, pelvis and both legs were broken, leaving him wheelchair-bound, according to the Times.

A Shell spokesman said: “We have taken steps to improve our way of working to prevent a recurrence. This was a tragic accident where systems failed to provide a safe working environment for Mr Rizzotti.”

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