Luxury yacht maker, Sunseeker has been fined after an engineer lost consciousness after being struck on the back of the head by a solid metal bracket weighing 147kg.
Poole Magistrates’ Court heard how the employee of Sunseeker International Limited was working under the hull of an 86-foot yacht adjusting the height of a prop when the bracket came free.
The worker suffered a large laceration to the top of his head and lost consciousness. He suffered concussion for several weeks and pain in his neck from a torn muscle. He was off work for six weeks and received physiotherapy for 15 months.
HSE’s investigation into the incident which took place on 28 January 2016 found that the company failed to provide a safe system of work to ensure safety during the task of realigning the brackets on the hull of the yacht.
Sunseeker International Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £167,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,000 and a victim surcharge of £120.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Victoria Bailey said: “Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to inform, instruct and train their workers in the safe system of working.
“If a suitable, safe system of work had been implemented prior to the incident, the serious injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”
Crew safety at sea is regulated by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch, limiting HSE's involvement to incidents on land. Nonetheless, the Guardian's investigative report into three recent deaths of young crew members on board massive luxury yachts and 'hundreds of of other injuries and complaints' has propelled the issue into the spotlight.
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