A whistleblower has claimed he was sacked by a north-east energy firm after he reported a child had driven a digger, and raised concerns about drug use.
Roger Hammond alleges Vattenfall ended his contract because it wanted to cover up health and safety breaches at its Aberdeen Offshore Windfarm (AOWF) onshore substation at Blackdog.
The company has argued that Mr Hammond was sacked as site manager for incompetence and because of his fractured relationship with his colleagues, one of whom accused him of sexual harassment.
Yesterday he gave evidence at an employment tribunal in Aberdeen where he is suing the firm for unfair dismissal.
The tribunal heard that Mr Hammond, from Warrington, found out that a health and safety officer allowed her daughter to drive an excavator.
But when he alerted his superiors about the incident, which took place in December, he claimed they failed to take any action.
Mr Hammond, whose real first name is Barry, also said in a statement that he suspected a colleague was smoking cannabis and claimed to have witnessed the same person taking cocaine in his trailer.
He further alleged that he had been told by a worker that a number of staff had been on a night out and filmed themselves taking the drug.
When he relayed this to senior management he claimed he received no support and his next communication was to inform him, in February, that he had been sacked.
Mr Hammond’s solicitor Nigel Grundy read out e-mail correspondence with senior management in which a health and safety boss urged a cautious approach after Mr Hammond called for a blanket drug and alcohol test at the site.
Those exchanges showed that a similar operation at another Vatenfall development found 80% of tested staff had drugs or alcohol in their system, “right up to director level”, Mr Grundy said.
Under cross-examination by Vattenfall’s solicitor Euan Smith, Mr Hammond denied that his line managers had expressed concern about his performance.
He also denied that his relationship with colleagues had broken down.
However Mr Smith cited statements from several of Mr Hammond’s co-workers who claimed staff on site felt intimidated by him.
He put it to Mr Hammond that a health and safety officer had accused him of sexual harassment.
Mr Hammond dismissed this as an attempt to “smear him”.
The tribunal continues.
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