Ethentic Ethentic Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data
  • Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data Ethentic Ethentic

    HIGH FINES & COSTS OVER ‘ROCKETING’ CYLINDER DEATH

    Major building services firm and others failed to manage system installation 

    Three firms have been ordered to pay a total of over £685,000 in fines and prosecution costs after a plumber died and six other workers were seriously injured by a “barrage of flying gas cylinders” on a Hertfordshire construction project in November 2008.

    Crown House Technologies Ltd of Dartford, Kent, was principal contractor for the project and engaged Kidde Fire Protection Services Ltd, of Slough, Berkshire, to supply and install fire suppression equipment at the new facility under construction. This work was carried out by Kidde Products Ltd, also from Slough.

    Adam Johnston, aged 38, was struck by one of 66 heavy argonite gas cylinders as they ‘rocketed’ at speeds of up to 170 mph when one cylinder toppled and set off a frightening chain reaction.

    Safety caps missing and cylinders not properly secured

    Mr Johnston was working on the construction project in Welwyn Garden City when he was struck by one of the cylinders as they were propelled around the building. He suffered multiple injuries and died at the scene. Several other workers suffered injuries and long term effects resulting from the trauma of that day.

    HSE investigators found a series of unsafe practices relating to the installation of fire suppression equipment at the new-build storage facility. St Albans Crown Court heard (5 July 2013) heard that 80 cylinders were stored without their safety-critical protection caps and left without being properly secured in racks.

    It is believed that one or more cylinders fell over causing the unprotected valve to shear off near the cylinder neck. This released an uncontrolled jet of gas under high pressure causing the cylinder to move and collide with other cylinders which then sustained similar damage.

    Terrified workers desperately sought shelter

    A chain reaction developed rapidly and for several minutes shocked and terrified workers desperately sought shelter as they “endured a barrage of heavy cylinders” rocketing around them. This continued until 66 of the 80 cylinders had been discharged.

    Some of the cylinders travelled at estimated speeds of up to 170mph and developed sufficient energy to penetrate walls and ceiling voids, travelling into more remote parts of the building.

    The court was told that the three companies involved failed to recognise the significant risks involved in the project or to carry out an adequate risk assessment.

    The principal contractor and the main contractors failed to co-ordinate the scheduled work activities or to co-operate meaningfully in light of the risks. There had also been insufficient training and supervision.

    Little evidence those involved were competent

    Crown House Technologies Ltd pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to breaching Section 2 and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 was fined £117,000 and ordered to pay costs of £119,393.65

    Kidde Fire Protection Services Ltd pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to breaching Regulations 6 and 13(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007and was fined £165,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £59,696.72.

    Kidde Products Ltd, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to breaching Section 2 and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £165,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £59,696.72.

    After the case, HSE Principal Inspector Norman Macritchie, said:

    “Mr Johnston had no control over the chain of events which led to his tragic death. He died while going about his business as a result of the shortcomings of others. It is only by chance that this incident did not cause further fatalities.

    There is little evidence that those involved were competent to undertake this work, or that safe systems of work were provided, or that there was suitable cooperation between the contractors involved.

    Employees of other companies were allowed to enter the argonite store while it was potentially unsafe to do so, and there is no evidence that anyone explained the risks to them, or acted effectively to control these risks.

    This incident was devastating for his family and yet it could have been avoided had there been effective planning, management, monitoring and coordination of the relevant activities.

    Health and safety is sometimes dismissed as an unnecessary burden on businesses but this tragic case clearly demonstrates its true importance to those at the ‘sharp end’ of the industry.”

     

    Latest Construction Health and Safety News

    WORKMAN FELL FROM UNSECURED LADDER

    Industrial cladding company failed to assess and control WAH

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th January 2019

    SCAFFOLDER FELL THROUGH FRAGILE ROOFLIGHT

    Fall through roof leaves workman with life-changing injuries

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th January 2019

    ARM DRAGGED INTO CONVEYOR BELT DANGER

    Workman seriously injured on first day at work in quarry

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 16th January 2019

    ROOF TRUSSES TOPPLED TRAPPING WORKMAN

    Principal contractor failed to plan, manage and monitor project

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 16th January 2019

    SCAFFOLDING AWARENESS TRAINING FOR ALL

    CISRS set to target painters, bricklayers, electricians and plumbers

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 16th January 2019

    HSE ENFORCEMENT DATABASE REMAINS OFFLINE

    hselogo1Access to HSE prosecutions and notices register mysteriously unavailable

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 15th January 2019

    POOR LIFT MAINTENANCE CLAIMED LIFE OF CHILD

    Affordable housing business and contractor fined over £1.5m

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 15th January 2019

    NEW CPA CRANE SAFETY GUIDANCE ISSUED

    Guide covers use of mobile lifting appliances beside railways

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th January 2019

    RIBA CONDEMNS RISKIER PROCUREMENT OUTCOMES

    Holistic focus on safety is required and not just cost cutting

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 8th January 2019

    DIRECTOR JAILED OVER PAINT STRIPPER ILLEGAL SALE

    Banned and restricted chemicals sold contrary to legal requirements

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 5th January 2019

    CLIENT FAILED TO PROCURE ASBESTOS SURVEY

    Demolition work released large quantities of asbestos fibres

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 2nd January 2019

    LIVE WORKING IGNITED CLOTHES OF ELECTRICIAN

    Spanner came into contact with live terminal causing life-changing burns

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 31st December 2018

    WORKMEN FELL FROM ‘BIN’ ATTACHED TO EXCAVATOR

    Premature removal of scissor lift prompted unsafe system of work

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 31st December 2018

    MANY SITES FAIL HSE HEALTH RISK CONTROL TEST

    HSE Construction site ‘blitz’ finds breaches at 43% of site visits

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 31st December 2018

    MAKESHIFT FALL ARREST SYSTEM CAUGHT ON CAMERA

    Contactors fined for using harness not attached to suitable anchor

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 31st December 2018

    HYDRAULIC RAM SEVERED HAND OF WORKMAN

    Major contractor failed to follow own policies and procedures

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 31st December 2018

    ALL WORK AREAS NOT INCLUDED IN ASBESTOS SURVEY

    Company fined after asbestos containing materials were released

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 31st December 2018

    FESTIVE GREETINGS TO ALL OUR READERS

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th December 2018

    POSITIVE STORY ON FRAGILE SURFACE HAZARDS

    Major roofing contractor testifies to working from below roof

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th December 2018

    LEISURE CENTRE USER FELL ILL AFTER SHOWER USE

    Legionella risk assessment and control measures found wanting

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th December 2018

    STONE CUTTING MACHINE GUARDS FAILED HSE TEST

    Precautions taken following HSE enforcement fell into disuse

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th December 2018

    ROOFWORK CREATED CARBON MONOXIDE RISK

    Falling rubble damaged and blocked home chimney flue

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th December 2018

    HSE SAFETY ALERT: TOWER CRANE BRAKES

    Collapse of tower crane jib in high winds prompts HSE warning

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 11th December 2018

    VISITING ENGINEER CRUSHED BY SCAFFOLD TUBES

    Principal contractor “signed off” contractor storage arrangements

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 11th December 2018

    CONCRETE EJECTED BY PUMPING UNIT CLAIMED LIFE

    Company and director failed to train and supervise pumping operations

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 5th December 2018
    Ethentic Ethentic Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data
  • Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data Ethentic Ethentic