• Total Access Total Access Ethentic Ethentic
    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

    HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 11th JULY 2018

    hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices register latest version

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 11th July 2018

    SCAFFOLDER DEVELOPMENT EMBRACED BY INDUSTRY

    CPD training attracts over 2500 scaffolders during first year of operation

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 11th July 2018

    SECURITY PANELS FELL DESPITE EARLY WARNING

    Firm fined £1/4 million after worker crushed by falling fencing

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th July 2018

    VEHICLE STRIKE TRIGGERED FALL OF ROOF TRUSSES

    Manufacturer failed to identify a suitable safe system of work

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th July 2018

    INCIDENT: CHILD STRUCK BY FALLING OBJECT

    Wood falling from scaffold triggers arrest of two on construction site

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th July 2018

    IGNITION OF THINNERS VAPOUR CLAIMED TWO LIVES

    Refurbishment project director jailed over fatal use of flammable solvent

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th July 2018

    HSE LONDON REFURBISHMENT CAMPAIGN FINDINGS

    hselogo1Material breaches of law found at over 50% of London sites visited

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 4th July 2018

    CURFEW AND TAGGING FOR RECALCITRANT SCAFFOLDER

    Suspended jail sentence handed down after unsafe work at height

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 4th July 2018

    CONSTRUCTION SECTOR DEATHS RISE SHARPLY

    HSE report construction worker deaths increase by 27% during 2017/18

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 4th July 2018

    BUILD UK UPDATE KEY CONSTRUCTION H&S ADVICE

    Majors industry body endorses “go to” source of H&S information

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 2nd July 2018

    OXYGEN CYLINDER “FIRED” INTO WORKSHOP

    Violent discharge of gas bottle seriously injured two engineers

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 2nd July 2018

    PRISON SENTENCE OVER FAILURE TO MANAGE RISK

    Sole trader contractor ignored HSE advice once too often

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 2nd July 2018

    DEATH EXPOSED MINIMAL MEWP MAINTENANCE

    Court told about “almost complete” lack of MEWP maintenance

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    CONTRACTOR FAILED TO IDENTIFY ASBESTOS PRESENCE

    ACMs disturbed during works and firm failed to take suitable actions

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    FALL THROUGH ROOF ON LOCAL COUNCIL BUILDING

    Fragile rooflight fractured when workman ‘misplaced footing’

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    YOUNG WORKER POSED SPECIAL RISK TO CONTROL

    Conviction highlights duty to young persons and the vulnerable

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    TOWER DEFECTS AND UNSAFE SYSTEM CAUSED DEATH

    Maintenance supervisor fell to his death through roof opening

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    UK MAJOR FINED £1/2m OVER HAVS RISK FAILURES

    Danger caused by poor management of vibrating hand tool risk

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    DIRECTOR FAILED TO COMPLY WITH PROHIBITION

    Precautions not taken to prevent excavation collapse and falling

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 11th June 2018

    SCAFFOLD NOT TO INDUSTRY STANDARD OR DESIGN

    Specialist and contractor in court over unsafe work at height

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 7th June 2018

    ROAD WORKER RUN OVER BY ROAD ROLLER

    Reversing alarm not working and warning light not fitted

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 5th June 2018

    CLIENT AND SURVEYOR FINED OVER ASBESTOS SURVEY

    Refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey proved inadequate

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 5th June 2018

    FATALITY: ROAD WORKER DRAGGED ALONG ROAD

    Night shift worker loses life when struck by road sweeping vehicle

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 3rd June 2018

    CDM PRINCIPAL DESIGNERS AVOID HSE ENFORCEMENT

    Regulator enforcement database reveals few notices involve CDM PDs

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 3rd June 2018

    PROPERTY MANAGERS FINED WITH CONTRACTOR

    Defendants failed to check for asbestos during soffit replacement works

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 29th May 2018
    Total Access Total Access Ethentic Ethentic
    Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data