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INADEQUATE CHECKS TRIGGERED GAS RELEASE AND BURNS

Demolition contractor prosecuted after services confusion causes gas explosion 

Birstall Demolition and Plant Services Ltd has been fined after a workman suffered serious burns when a gas pipe was inadvertently severed and the released gas ignited. The man was carrying out demolition work at a warehouse in Burton-on-Trent when he cut into the metal gas pipe.

HSE investigators established that the incident could have been prevented if basic checks had been undertaken to ensure the pipe was safe. The court heard how the injured man was using an angle grinder to remove hardware from a mezzanine area when he cut into the gas pipe. He understood the pipe was no longer ‘live’. The gas released ignited sending flames onto his face and forearms.

Company failed to perform the simplest of checks

Birstall Demolition and Plant Services Ltd of Birstall, West Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,256.

After the hearing HSE Inspector Alastair Choudhury said:

“Injuries to workers in the demolition industry are all too common. Demolition activities need to be planned, supervised and monitored rigorously. However, Birstall Demolition and Plant Services Ltd failed to perform the simplest of checks to protect their employee by not making sure that the pipes were safe.

This employee suffered serious burns, which would have been worse if he had not been wearing goggles and safety gloves. For a lengthy amount of time after the incident, he was not able to return to work. However he is now working again, for a different employer, still bearing the scars from his ordeal.

This incident could easily have resulted in even more serious injuries; in fact he could have died”.

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One Response to “INADEQUATE CHECKS TRIGGERED GAS RELEASE AND BURNS”

  1. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 1ST AUGUST 2012 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] INADEQUATE CHECKS TRIGGERED GAS RELEASE AND BURNS […]