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Oil firm fined for radiation risk

Oil firm fined for radiation risk

A firm that provides oilfield services has been fined £300,000 for putting workers in danger of radiation exposure.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that a total of 14 workers from various companies were put at risk on a North Sea mobile drilling rig in April 2008.

Schlumberger Oilfield UK Plc was carrying out surveying work for Maersk's drilling programme at the Cawdor well, 200 miles off the coast of Dundee. The work involved the lowering into the well of a scientific tool with a radioactive source.

However, Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard that the tool was not loaded properly and lay on the drill floor for around four hours before being spotted.

Schlumberger pleaded guilty to a contravention of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

HSE inspector Gillian Rodaks said: "Loss of control of any radioactive source is extremely serious, particularly of the size involved in this incident, and it was only by good fortune that the source was recovered in a relatively short period of time.

"Had someone held it, even just for a few minutes, they would have received a significant radiation dose which may have resulted in injuries to their hands and increased their risk of developing cancer in later life."

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