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‘Conscientious and hardworking’ Lowestoft oil rig worker’s death ruled an accident

PUBLISHED: 09:44 10 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:15 10 December 2017

Tyron Jones. Picture: Courtesy the Jones family.

Tyron Jones. Picture: Courtesy the Jones family.

Archant

The death of a man who was crushed by heavy equipment on a gas platform 70 miles off the Norfolk coast has been ruled as an accident, an inquest heard.

Despite being airlifted to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Tyron Leigh Jones, of Herons Close in Lowestoft, died after suffering multiple injuries in the incident on December 5, 2016.

The hearing into the Perenco supervisor’s death, which re-opened on Wednesday at Norfolk Coroner’s Court, heard how a variable speed drive (VSD) unit weighing around 1,400kg fell on him while being unpacked from a wooden crate.

The inquest heard that during the moving and unpacking of the unit it had become slightly unstable and this is what evenutally caused it to topple upon moving.

Area coroner, Yvonne Blake, said: “It was a minor angle with devastating consequences.”

Summing up the case, Ms Blake descibed how the inquest heard that Mr Jones was “conscientious, hardworking and very good at his job” and how lifting the VSD, which had been delivered to the platform the day before, had been tested before moving.

Other issues raised were that the unit had not been bolted to the base of the crate and was not attached to an overhead gantry crane while Mr Jones and two colleagues were unpacking it.

Prior to its arrival on the platform, a lifting test had been carried out on the unit by Certex, a specialist lifting company based in Great Yarmouth.

Giving evidence yesterday, Certex lifting engineer Lee Manning described how he had carried out tests on the unit while it was in the crate to make sure lifting rails fitted to it were capable of carrying the load.

The inquest heard how medic Paul Matthews said he had started CPR on Mr Jones - who was unresponsive - soon after he was freed.

He said Mr Jones had suffered head trauma and bruising to the abdomen and left shoulder.

Despite being rushed to hospital, Mr Jones died from his injuries a day later.

Ms Blake indicated she would use the verdict to instruct the oil and gas industry and packing regulators to ensure correct tests were in place to avoid this kind of accident from happening again.

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