• Robert Spicer

Exposure to gas vapour: £160,000 fine

Exposure to gas vapour: £160,000 fine

Health and Safety Executive v Air Liquide (UK) Ltd (2018) Stoke Combined Court, July 6

Statutory reference: s.2 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974 (HSWA)

Air Liquide (UK) Ltd, a specialty gas company, has been fined after a worker was overcome by vapour.

The facts

  • In February 2015 four members of the company’s Emergency Response Team were disposing of redundant gas bottles at the company’s site. The work involved two workers cutting the bottles open inside a box, using a hacksaw operated from the outside.

  • One worker, wearing protective equipment, was carrying a cut-open bottle when 50 ml of highly hazardous liquid leaked from it.

  • Vapour from the spillage drifted downwind and affected two unprotected workers. One of the workers collapsed.

  • The work system was inadequate. The Team had not been adequately informed or supervised, nor was the risk of explosion adequately controlled.

The decision

The company was fined £160,000 plus £22,000 costs under s.2 of HSWA.

Recent Posts

See All


Gender-critical beliefs In the case of Forstater v CGD Europe, Ms F worked under a consultancy agreement as a researcher and writer with CGD, a think tank. She believes that sex is biologically immuta


England’s coronavirus ban on evictions came to an end on May 32, 2021. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has reported that 400,000 private renters have been served with eviction notices or told to expect


DAMAGES Lost years of earnings Case Head v Culver Heating Co Ltd [2021] EWCA Civ 34 Facts H was the managing director of EMSL, his own heating and ventilation company. He was negligently exposed to as