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An offshore services company has been fined following the death of an employee while working at a site in the North Sea.

The incident took place in 2011 when the 37-year-old man had been accessing an area below deck using ropes to abseil down..

He had been looking for and disposing of any possible debris which could fall into the sea, injuring divers in the water below, and was returning to the platform when the work accident occurred.

While suspended just below the hatch, he had to open the rope protector in order to be able to move his ‘jammer' up the working rope and allow himself access to pass through the hatch.

It was at this point that both his rope and safety rope became caught on a sharp edge which then sheared through the two lines.

The man fell 23 metres to the sea below, making contact with steelwork on his descent.

A rescue crew quickly came to the man's aid but he died before reaching the onsite hospital.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the procedure had not been properly planned and did not meet industry standards or company guidelines.

A HSE inspector commented on the case. "Assessing the risks of the job properly would have identified that the potentially sharp edge presented a very clear danger to anyone suspended and working on ropes rigged against it."

At Aberdeen Sheriff Court, the company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and a fine of £100,000 was issued.

Our thoughts are with the man's family.

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