• Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data

    GAS EXPLOSION INVESTIGATION CLEARS ALL PARTIES

    ‘Low risk’ gas main caused injury and devastation in town centre

    An HSE investigation report into the explosion in Shrewsbury town centre on 3 January 2010 has been published today (25.01.2011).

    The explosion resulted in six people suffering major injury and left others with minor injuries. Properties in the area sustained significant damage.

    A major finding of the report is that the investigation “revealed no evidence of any breach of relevant safety legislation and consequently HSE will not be taking any enforcement action in this case”. The HSE investigation concluded that:

    • Mains gas leaked from a fractured low pressure cast iron gas main located in the footway immediately in front of 1-5 Bridge Street;
    • The gas accumulated within 1-5 Bridge Street and was ignited by a source within the building leading to the explosion;
    • Stresses imposed by the local ground conditions near to the main may have contributed to the unpredicted failure of the main;
    • There is no evidence of failures by the pipeline operator or any other company or individual to warrant prosecution.
    Failed gas main categorised as ‘low risk’

    Gas operators are legally required by to maintain the networks in a safe condition. Many older gas mains are made from cast iron, a programme is in place to decommission and replace it with new polyethylene (yellow) pipes.

    The lead HSE investigating Inspector Nicola Wade said:

    “This has been a complex investigation, involving many hours of work and forensic analysis to understand exactly what happened on 3 January 2010.

    The most likely cause of the explosion is that gas escaped from the fractured gas main and ignited nearby, despite no previous reports of a gas leak in the area. The gas main was correctly classified as low risk, it had been subject to stresses over time, causing a fracture.

    I would like to thank all those who assisted with the investigation, in particular those injured in the explosion and their families. West Mercia Police, Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service and Shropshire County Council were crucial in coordinating the rescue effort and making the area safe, allowing further investigation and repair work to be completed.”

    Comment

    This incident resulted in serious injury to six members of the public and major damage to property. The consequences could  have been much worse. The cast iron gas main involved was classified as ‘low risk’.

    The report is silent on adequacy of the risk categorisation system or what changes might be made to reduce the chances of such an incident in future. Those living in the vicinity of  ‘low risk’ cast iron gas mains will remain exposed to the possibility of ‘high consequences’ until the replacement programme is complete.  

    Latest Construction Health and Safety News

    CONTRACTS MANAGER HANDED TWO YEAR PRISON TERM

    Safety fall arrest netting would have saved life of deceased workman

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 15th January 2020

    WORKER FATALLY INJURED BY CONCRETE BEAM

    Lifting operation not properly planned, managed and supervised

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 15th January 2020

    TREE FELLING OPERATIONS LACKED DEFINED COMMS

    Workman struck by falling tree inside “normal” exclusion zone

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th January 2020

    CONTRACTOR ARRESTED OVER WELFARE FAILINGS

    Recalcitrant sole trader failed to attend court hearing

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th January 2020

    MAJOR DEMOLITION CONTRACTOR FINED £500,000

    Collapse of concrete slab caused death of worker and excavator fall

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th January 2020

    FALL FROM LADDER WHILST CARRYING BUCKET

    Contractor failed to provide basic safe lifting aids

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th January 2020

    FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH HSE NOTICE PROVES COSTLY

    Director given suspended jail term and company fined £60,000

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th January 2020

    DEVELOPER FAILED TO PLAN AND CHECK COMPETENCE

    Fall caused by ad-hoc working methods and lack of monitoring

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th January 2020

    CYLINDER LEAK TEST CAUSED FATAL INJURIES

    Corrosion inhibitor triggered failure and shrapnel ejection

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th January 2020

    FESTIVE GREETINGS TO ALL OUR READERS

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 20th December 2019

    JAIL TERM FOLLOWS ROUTINE HSE SPOT CHECK

    Director of a roofing firm handed a suspended prison sentence

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 19th December 2019

    TEENAGER FELL 3M DURING BLOCK AND BEAM WORK

    Workers uninstructed and left to devise own safe system of work

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 19th December 2019

    PARCEL CARRIER FINED HEAVILY OVER FLT INCIDENT

    Reversing fork lift lacked segregation from pedestrians

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th December 2019

    CONTRACTOR FINED OVER FLOOR OPENING FALL

    Thorough risk assessment and edge protection were both inadequate

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th December 2019

    THREE WORKERS “CARRIED ALONG” IN SEWER INCIDENT

    Mentally affected and one man treated for long-term traumatic stress

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 11th December 2019

    SOLAR FIRM AND DIRECTOR SENTENCED OVER DEATH

    Brother of business owner died in fall during panel installation

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th December 2019

    DIRECTOR AND COMPANY FINED FOR ASBESTOS RISK

    HSE refurbishment campaign inspection revealed asbestos offences

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th December 2019

    BULK BAG COLLAPSE CAUSED BY UNSAFE STACKING

    Bulk bag collapsed onto workman when struck by fork lift

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 9th December 2019

    INTERLOCKED GUARD NOT WORKING TO ISOLATE POWER

    Two workmen seriously injured when plant started unexpectedly

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 9th December 2019

    STREET FURNITURE RISK TO PUBLIC FINED £1.4M

    Council prosecuted following injury to child playing on hinged bollard

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 9th December 2019

    WORKMEN SUFFER SERIOUS BURNS FROM CABLE STRIKE

    Assessment and system of work failed to appreciate electrical risk

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 29th November 2019

    LADDERS WERE INAPPROPRIATE FOR WORK ON ROOF

    Workman paralysed after falling whilst installing roof ladder

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 28th November 2019

    FIRM FAILED TO MANAGE EXHAUST VENTILATION

    HSE enforcement notices on wood dust and welding fume ignored

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 27th November 2019

    RECALCITRANT DIRECTOR BARRED FROM OFFICE

    Dangerous telehandler used despite earlier fatality and enforcement

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 25th November 2019

    DIRECTOR HID UNSAFE WORKING PRACTICES FROM HSE

    Workers exposed to sprayed paints containing asthma causing isocyantes

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 25th November 2019
  • Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data