Scottish Power to appeal £1.75m health and safety fine

Penalty was given after a worker was scalded at Longannet Power Station in 2013

The energy firm, Scottish Power Generation Limited, is set to appeal its £1.75m health and safety fine, which they received after one of their workers was scalded in 2013 in an incident at their Longannet Power Station in Fife.

The penalty was handed out to Scottish Power earlier this year, after the company admitted to severe health and safety failures at the plant.

On 12 October 2013, controller David Roscoe was engulfed by steam that had escaped from a broken pipeline valve, at the coal-fired power plant in Fife. He was badly scalded by the steam and suffered severe injuries, which mainly affected his lower body.

Scottish Power to challenge health and safety prosecution

Longannet Power station in Fife

Mr Roscoe, a long-serving employee for the company, was fifty-one at the time of the incident and was unable to return to work after having to undergo major skin graft surgery.

Dunfermline Sheriff Court was told that Scottish Power had been made aware of the faulty valve over four years before the incident took place, but no efforts were made to repair it.

The company’s health and safety procedures were criticised by Sheriff Charles MacNair, who initially fined Scottish Power £2.5m but reduced the amount to £1.75m because they pleaded guilty early on in the case.

Scottish Power have now lodged an appeal challenging the £1.75m fine, with the Court of Criminal Appeal, in Edinburgh.

A contractor spotted steam escaping from the faulty valve only fifteen days before Mr Roscoe was injured. The contractor filled out a work order card requesting that a repair be carried out on the faulty valve within the month.

On the day of the accident, Mr Roscoe saw steam coming out of the broken valve but when he tried to stop it by turning the valve a little, he was badly scalded by the steam.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident at the power plant in Fife, which has since been closed, discovered that the company knew about the faulty valve but did not take the appropriate steps to either repair the valve or replace it.

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Head of HSE warns against “excessive risk-averse” culture

Dame Judith Hackitt claims “non-sensical” health and safety rules in schools are damaging for children

The head of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has criticised the “excessive risk-averse” culture which dominates health and safety rules in schools and which could be harmful to children later in life.

Dame Judith Hackitt, who has been the chair of the HSE for the last eight years, has warned schools against exercising “nonsensical” health and safety rules in the school place, as it prevents children from preparing for the “real world” and damages the serious work being done by the HSE.

The comments were made by Dame Judith during a speech she gave at the Royal Academy of Engineering, where she told the audience a story about a school which banned pupils from wearing frilly socks because they could cause trips and falls.

Dame Judith said that raising children with this type of “bureaucratic” behaviour would create adults who will become “a liability in any workplace”. She further added that children’s education should involve learning how to deal with danger and risk.

According to a study carried out by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, one in four schools across the UK have banned such time-honoured playground games like British bulldogs and “tig” over health and safety concerns.

“Overprotective parents and risk-averse teachers who do not enable children to learn to handle risk will lead to young adults who are poorly equipped to deal with the realities of the world… unable to discern real risk from trivia, not knowing who they can trust or believe.” said Dame Judith.

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