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Hydro fined over UK fatality

Hydro has been fined GBP 100,000 (NOK 0.9 million) in connection with the death of a worker at the company's aluminium extrusion plant in Birtley, in the United Kingdom. The worker, Jens Hinrichs, was fatally injured in an accident on November 2, 2006.

March 26, 2010

Hydro's extrusion company in the UK prepared a media statement in connection with the ruling, which was made on Thursday by the Durham Crown Court. The statement reads:
 
"Hydro Aluminium Extrusion Limited and its management wish to make clear that they sincerely regret Mr Hinrichs' death and the accident which caused it. Mr Hinrichs was a very popular and well respected employee and his death shocked and saddened us all. The company accepts that it was guilty of failings which contributed to the accident. We have apologized to Mr Hinrichs' family for those failings and we repeat that apology now.

"Mr Hinrichs was employed as the Project and Process Engineer at the Birtley site. His main task was to develop health, safety, environmental and efficiency improvements for the business.

"In 2004 and 2005, the company introduced a new packing production line at Birtley. Mr Hinrichs was closely involved in the installation of the equipment. One of the main reasons for introducing the new equipment was to improve safety by reducing the need for manual handling. 

"It was an error in the design of equipment which was not detected in time combined with an unfortunate chain of circumstances that gave cause to the tragic accident which happened on the 2nd November 2006.

"The company has always taken its responsibilities towards health and safety extremely seriously and has a good safety record. We took prompt and comprehensive steps following the accident to ensure that no similar accident would happen again and have learned the lessons of Mr Hinrichs' tragic accident."

 
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Updated: March 26, 2010
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