The Court heard that a number of safety failings by both companies resulted in welding work on a gas main sparking a fire that sent 20-foot flames into the sky. As a result, three workers had to flee to escape,
six homes had to be evacuated and fire crews had to use water jets to protect nearby properties during the incident which occurred on 3 Sept 2010. Some of the work involved had been sub contracted and the HSE discovered that the two sub-contractors were only competent in specific parts of the jobs and that neither fully understood the overall work being conducted. The HSE investigation concluded that the defendants failed to properly plan the work or put in place adequate safety controls for the work.
Fines levied by the court were £35,000 plus £8,435 in costs for NGN and MS were fined £50,000 plus £12,900 costs. The HSE Inspector commented “When undertaking high hazard activities such as this, it is
essential that the proper steps are taken to ensure that risks are fully considered and then controlled.”