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Firm admits Earlsburn wind farm death safety failings

A wind turbine manufacturer has admitted a series of health and safety failings at a wind farm where a teenage worker fell 100ft to his death.

Basilio Brazao, 19, from Brazil, died instantly when he fell down the shaft of a wind turbine at the Earlsburn wind farm near Fintry, Stirlingshire.

Mr Brazao had been working inside the turbine at the time of the incident.

At Stirling Sheriff Court, manufacturer Nordex UK admitted a number of health and safety breaches on the site.

The Manchester-based firm admitted that between 1 November 2006 and 22 May 2007 it failed to ensure the health and safety of employees at the wind farm.

It further pled guilty to failing to provide a safe way of getting up and down from the 15 wind turbines on the site, all of which had been supplied and constructed by the company.

It also admitted that as a consequence of failing to provide safe access, Mr Brazao was required to ascend a ladder to access the main generator of the turbine on the day he died, 22 May 2007.

Ray Gribben, defending, said Nordex UK had been “practically insolvent” in the last two financial years, and posted a loss of more than £1.3m for the year ending 2011.

Sheriff Fiona Tait deferred sentence until 15 June as she said she needed to hear about the financial situation of the firm’s German parent company, Nordex SE.

She said: “I see a difficulty in determining a significant financial penalty without the fullest knowledge of their finances.”

The Earlsburn wind farm in the Touch Hills was under construction when Mr Brazao died.