A Highlands energy services firm has been fined £80,000 after a surveyor died from injuries caused by an electrical explosion.
It happened while Mr Earley was inspecting an electric panel at the Highlands port facility.
He suffered burns to a third of his body, affecting his face, right arm, right side of his chest and left hand.
Three months later, Mr Earley, a father-of-four, passed away aged 64, following multiple infections and sepsis complications brought on by his injuries.
He’d been carrying out survey work for Global Energy Group at its Shop 7 premises at Nigg Energy Park, in the Cromarty Firth.
An investigation by watchdog the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the switch room Mr Earley was surveying at the time of the incident was not in an appropriate condition.
Live switch panels did not have a cautionary label indicating they were energised with electricity running through them.
Moreover there were “no warning of electrical danger at the internal doorway between Shop 7 and the switch room”, as the door itself was missing.
This failure to maintain the switch room in an appropriate condition was the underlying cause of the incident, the HSE said.
Global Energy Group – which is owned by north entrepreneur and chairman of Scottish Premiership football side Ross County, Roy MacGregor – pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) and Section 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
The company was £80,000 at Tain Sheriff Court on January 18.
HSE inspector Niall Miller said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
A Global Energy Group spokesperson said: “Global Energy Group express its sincere condolences to the individual’s family and friends following this tragic accident. The health and safety of everyone that works in and around the facility continues to be our top priority”.