Shell Halt Work In Erris Due To Accidents

The latest drama from Erris, Co.Mayo, work halted on Shell's refinery due to accidents. On Thursday the 28th, after several accidents, Shell called a temporary halt to their construction of a massive gas refinery in Mayo. This suspension is ongoing. Ninety Bord na Mona workers contracted to them have been laid off with twenty four hours notice. The photos are from Wednesday the 20th of April. There was, it is rumoured, one similar truck accident before then, and there was certainly one on Monday the 25th. These Iggy Madden lorries are bringing removed bog from the Ballinaboy site, where the refinery is to go, to the peat storage place in Srahmore. The one in the photo went straight off the road and into the bog. There is anecdotal evidence of other accidents on site. Moreover actually removing the peat from the trucks appears to be a fairly involved sort of operation as it sticks to them. As was said during the planning hearings - 'you can't build a refinery on a bog - that's free advice.' Related Links: News from the Court Cases Solidarity Gathering Public Meeting in Galway Meanwhile in a court in Scotland on Wednesday the 27th Shell was fined a record amount - £900,000 - for a series of safety failings on its Brent Bravo platform that led to the deaths of two oil workers. This is almost treble the amount of the previous biggest fine the oil and gas industry has been hit with for safety breaches, but represents one minutes’ profit for the global Shell company. In the words of Greig Hill, Shell’s production director, “we feel completely 100 per cent responsible for the deaths of these men”. The men, aged Keith Moncrieff, aged 45 and Sean McCue, 22, were suffocated in a gas escape on the 11th of September 2003. The day after the accident Tom Botts, a Shell managing director said: "We've got a full audit and review from the Health and Safety Executive not only for the Brent Field but for all our fields in the North Sea,” “The Health and Safety Executive has come back with a very robust stamp of approval of our operations." Lord Oxburgh, Shell’s chairman, claimed in July 2004 he was "really very worried for the planet", due to climate change. Specifically fearing that sequestration, a technical fix for global warming involving the underground storage of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, “might be impossible”. In which case he says there isn’t any other approach and “little hope for the world”. This the boss of a major oil company, referring to the ecological damage caused in large part by the oil industry and oil dependant transportation. Hmm I can think of a few approaches that might work, might just cut into the profit margin of an oil company though! Will the Mayo refinery be run on the basis ‘ok this is really dangerous and we might be able to fix it or we might not, but sure ah what the hell go for it anyways, just lie back and think of the dollars’? The current safety record isn’t awe inspiring, with only weeks into one small part of the construction, already work has been stopped due to accidents. Photos are copyrighted to Nigel Beers-Smith, thanks to him for them. Related Links: Shell 'admits' shortcomings Poor safety of North Sea rigs exposed


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