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Shell Fined For UK Refinery Accident That Paralyzed Worker

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

JANUARY 4, 2010, 11:19 A.M. ET

LONDON (Dow Jones)–Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) and two of its contractors have been fined a total of GBP283,332 by the U.K. Health and Safety Executive over an accident at the Stanlow refinery in Cheshire in 2007 that left a worker paralyzed below the waist, the regulator said Monday.

The HSE said the accident–in which a 500-kilogram container suspended above a walkway fell on worker Stephen Rizotti breaking his back, legs and pelvis–was totally avoidable.

“The scaffolding should have been constructed so that the lifting equipment was away from areas where people had to walk. The landing area should also have been suitably protected,” said HSE inspector Alan Graham.

Shell U.K. Oil Products and the contractor Dalprop, which employed Rizotti, pleaded guilty to contravening the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations of 1998. Shell was fined GBP116,666 and ordered to pay costs of GBP16,204. Dalprop was fined GBP83,333 with costs of GBP11,115.

Hertel U.K., which installed the scaffolding and platforms used for the project, pleaded guilty to contravening the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined GBP83,333 and ordered to pay costs of GBP16,204.

Company Web site: http://www.shell.com

-By James Herron, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 (0)20 7842 9317; [email protected]

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