A Sheffield steel manufacturer has been fined £1,000,000 with £58,000 costs following an incident in August 2013 when an employee was severely burnt as the result of an oxygen pipe explosion. The injured party was carrying out checks whilst working on the line and heard hissing from a valve. As he went to investigate the noise, the pipe and valve erupted in flames.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the oxygen pipe had been fitted with contaminated second-hand flanges and butterfly valve, containing materials unsuitable for use with oxygen. HSE stated that “It was foreseeable that work would at some point be undertaken on the oxygen pipelines which ran across the entire site, yet no action had been taken to take control of this line or to implement training or levels of responsibility for management of such work”.
Two companies have been fined a total of £700,000 and a director has received a suspended prison sentence following the fatal crushing of four workers on a Norfolk excavation site, in January 2011. The men were constructing a large steel structure, as part of a foundation, which collapsed onto them. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found serious flaws in the planning, management and monitoring of this complex project.
A Kent construction company has been fined £750,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,875 following two inspections of a project carried out by the HSE in 2013 and 2014.
During the first inspection, it was found that while a refurbishment and demolition (R&D) survey had been carried out the company had failed to act upon it. This resulted in up to forty workers being exposed to asbestos during the early demolition phase of the project.
The second investigation found that despite engaging a licensed asbestos contractor to remove the remaining asbestos materials, dangerous practices were continuing. In addition, the company was unable to provide documentation to show that asbestos materials identified in the survey had been correctly removed.