The grieving mother of a teenage construction worker who fell nearly 60ft to his death from a wind turbine after his equipment failed, has condemned the safety errors which cost her son his life.
19 year-old Antonio Basilio Brazao died instantly when he fell down the shaft of a wind turbine at the Earlsburn Wind Farm near Fintry, Stirlingshire in 2007. The teenager, who lived in Dunbar, East Lothian, had been working inside the Nordex UK turbine when the fatal accident happened due to faulty safety equipment.
Speaking ahead of the Fatal Accident Inquiry into his death his mother Karen Brazao condemned the errors claiming fully functioning safety equipment would have saved her son’s life.
Mrs Brazao said, “It’s heart-breaking for us to know that if this safety equipment was working as it should have been our son would still be with us today. What is so difficult for to comprehend is how there wasn’t just one fault but seemingly a host of safety mistakes which resulted in the death of Antonio. How can this be allowed to happen? I only hope that this is the last time someone dies because of poor safety equipment.”
The married mother-of-three added, “Antonio was a wonderful, loving son and we all miss him a great deal. In truth I don’t think we have come to terms with it even after all this time. After so many years I am happy to finally be able to attend the Inquiry so we can finally get closure from this horrendous ordeal and hopefully get justice for our son.”
Antonio Brazao had been part of a four-man team carrying out commissioning work at turbine nine on the Earlsburn Wind Farm. The teenage worker, who was Portuguese South African, was climbing an internal ladder near the top of the turbine when he somehow fell.
He was wearing a full body harness connected to a HACA fall arrest system however the break lock on the safety equipment failed, leaving him to fall nearly 60ft. He died at the scene of severe head injuries.
The family’s Personal Injury Solicitor Stuart Cochran from Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Edinburgh, revealed the family will be taking civil action against HACA, Nordex UK and Falck Renewables PLC over the safety breaches.
He said, “This tragic incident is sadly one that could have been avoided had the correct safety procedures been in place and in full working order at the site. In my opinion there had been several monumental errors which resulted in the death of a hard working young man, who had his whole life ahead of him.
“It’s now important that those responsible are held to account and his family receive the justice they deserve from this truly devastating ordeal.”
In a Court case in 2012, Nordex UK admitted that between 1 November 2006 & 22 May 2007, it failed to ensure the health and safety of employees at Earlsburn Wind Farm. The company was fined £26,000 after admitting health and safety failings.
The Fatal Accident Inquiry into his death will be held at Stirling Sheriff Court.