4th April 2017

Refining company fined £1.65 Million

An oil company has been fined £1,650,000 with costs of £57,644 following an explosion at a refinery in Cheshire.  The HSE investigation of the incident, which occurred in November 2013, found that:

A safety critical valve was ordered and installed incorrectly and the company failed to correctly validate its operation The company failed to adequately assess the installation of a new safety critical trip as they failed to recognise the system had a by-pass line which defeated the trip’s operation. The company’s policy was to isolate main fuel lines to the furnace however, the hydrocarbons entered the furnace via a secondary fuel line which had not been isolated when shut down.
22nd March 2017

Thames Water Utilities Ltd fined £20 Million

Thames Water Utilities Ltd was fined £20 Million for causing six separate pollution events on the Thames over a two-year period to 2014. Investigations carried out by Environment Agency officers revealed a catalogue of failures by TWUL management. This involved repeated discharges of untreated or poorly treated raw sewage into rivers, disregarding risks identified by their own staff and failing to react adequately to thousands of high priority alarms used to alert them to the serious problems.

9th March 2017

Contractor fined £600,000

A national facilities management company was fined £600,000, and ordered to pay costs of £15,498, for breaching Regulation 25 (4) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The fine resulted from an incident when an employee of a subcontractor, who was replacing a traffic light pole, came into contact with a live underground cable which gave him the electric shock and set him on fire.

NB Regulation 25(4) states that “construction work which is liable to create a risk to health or safety from an underground service, or from damage to or disturbance of it, must not be carried out unless suitable and sufficient steps (including any steps required by this regulation) have been taken to prevent the risk, so far as is reasonably practicable”.