Inquest into death of offshore worker

Tyron Jones. Picture: Courtesy the Jones family.

Tyron Jones. Picture: Courtesy the Jones family. - Credit: Archant

An inquest has heard how a medic and colleagues of a Lowestoft man desperately tried to save his life after heavy equipment fell on him while on a Perenco-operated gas platform 70 miles off the Norfolk coast.

Despite being airlifted to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Tyron Leigh Jones, 43, 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 unit had been delivered to the platform by boat the day before.

In a statement read out by Norfolk Area Coroner Yvonne Blake, medic Paul Matthews said he had started CPR on Mr Jones - who was unresponsive - soon after he was freed.

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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.

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A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation was launched into the incident and it is believed the VSD unit had at some point become unbalanced in the crate making it unstable.

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.

He said they had to remove and relocate two wooden beams from the crate to gain access to lifting points on the rails.

Mr Manning said they had fitted certified eye bolts to the rails and had then lifted the unit using a crane.

They carried out three different tests, including corner tests, and at no time did he observe any movement of the unit within the crate.

The inquest continues.

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