Workers injured in gas leak fire: Southern Gas Networks plc fined £1.2 million
Workers injured in gas leak fire: two companies fined
Health and Safety Executive v Southern Gas Networks plc and Cliffe Contractors Ltd (2018) Folkestone magistrates’ court, November 6
Statutory reference: ss. 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974 (HSWA)
A gas distribution company and a construction company have been fined after two workers suffered injuries after a gas main ignited.
In May 2016 Southern Gas (SGN) employees went to a gas escape in Whitstable, Kent. The escape had been caused by workers employed by Cliffe Contractors damaging a gas main during construction work.
During the repair, the gas ignited. One SGN worker suffered severe burns and another suffered cuts and bruises.
Cliffe Contractors had not followed safe digging techniques when working around the gas pipeline. The gas main was damaged by a mechanical excavator, which resulted in the release of a significant amount of gas.
SGN did not follow its own procedures and recognised safe systems of work when repairing the main.
Southern Gas Networks plc was fined £1.2 million plus £18,000 costs under s.2 of HSWA.
Cliffe Contractors Ltd was fined £60,000 plus £12,000 costs for breaches of ss. 2 and 3 of HSWA.