Update – 27 August, 2019
Following a court hearing on July 23, 2019 (below) District Judge Baker today fined Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd (DRDL) £666,667 and ordered the company to pay costs of £27,611.82.
23 July, 2019
Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd (DRDL) has today pleaded guilty to offences under Regulation 8 of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.
It follows an incident in September 2018 involving a crane at the Devonport 9 Dock facility. During a lifting operation to disassemble a stack of test weights, the weights became detached and fell towards a worker, narrowly missing him.
This was a conventional health and safety incident and there was no nuclear or radiological risk to workers or the public.
District Judge Baker heard the case at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court today (23 July) and will serve a written sentence to DRDL within 28 days.
The prosecution was the result of an investigation into the incident by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the UK’s independent nuclear safety regulator.
Jane Bowie, Head of Propulsion Sites Regulation for ONR, said: “The prosecution of Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd follows an investigation by ONR into an incident in September 2018 where a worker narrowly escaped serious injury. I welcome Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd’s decision to plead guilty which is recognition that it has fallen short in its duty to protect its workers.
“The incident was avoidable and Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd should have had appropriate safety procedures in place to prevent it from happening. ONR’s role is to hold the industry to account on behalf of the public and we do that using a range of enforcement action, including prosecutions.
“Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd continues to be under enhanced regulatory attention and we will continue to monitor its progress through regular inspections.”