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Ørsted contractor speaks out on ‘potentially fatal’ wind farm gas leak

A man who was working on an Ørsted vessel when a gas leak occurred has spoken of how the incident ‘could have been fatal’ if it was left unchecked.

Last week a vessel belonging to the Ørsted windfarm off the coast of Walney had a carbon monoxide leak with readings ‘four times over the limit’, contractor Karl Scott said.

“I am one of the people that was on board the vessel with the gas leak, and I still have not been contacted by any member of staff or my team to say we needed to be checked,” he said.

“It was just by chance we did the gas reading because people were feeling a bit sick, thinking it was sea sickness, but the reading came back four times the working limit.

“The first thing Ørsted should have done is get another boat, which they did, but they should have got everyone tested as well.

“It was just a coincidence we did a check as the workers may still be out there, and it could have been fatal.”

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that has no smell or taste. Breathing it in can make you unwell, and it can kill if you are exposed to high levels.

The Rail Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) have contacted the Health and Safety Executive as well as the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) following the recent incident after they alleged that Ørsted did not contact the workers in good time that there was a risk to health, stating they had to tell the workers at risk instead.

Ørsted has strongly denied this allegation and told The Mail that it contacted them directly via telephone or face-to-face.

A spokesperson for Ørsted said: “We take the health and safety of our employees and contractors extremely seriously and we are carrying out a thorough investigation.

“While these investigations are ongoing, we have been working closely with suppliers to implement a number of measures further safeguarding crews, including rigorous system checks, testing and monitoring on board vessels.”

The workers are contracted to the wind farm which generates clean energy for around 600,00 homes.