Tuesday, 15 January 2013

National Grid Prosecuted Over Gas Leak

The National Grid pleaded guilty on the 25th of September this year to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £17,500 in addition to £8,192 in costs after gas leaked into a Halesowen home.

The leak occurred back on the 20th of August, 2010 when a team of engineers replaced the gas supply to a property in Bromsgrove Road.

They chose to change the supply connection from a low pressure main on the opposite side of the road to a medium pressure main on the same side as the property.

Unfortunately, when carrying this task out, they drilled through a plastic main concealed within the iron main that they attached the new connection to. Gas leaked out of this secondary plastic main into a house 150 metres from the property the engineers worked on.

Thankfully the leak was noticed on the same day by a member of the public passing the property.

A second team of engineers was then deployed, identifying the high levels of gas within the house. The polluted house was then made safe in the early hours of the following morning.

The blame for the incident was placed upon the national Grid who had not updated records with the existence of the concealed plastic main. The company had know about the plastic main for four years, yet had not detailed this.

That the situation was speedily identified and resolved whilst the home-owners were out proved to be very lucky. Francine Cheney, a HSE (health and safety executive) inspector said that over half a tonne of gas had escaped from the incision made by the engineers. Such high levels could have killed quickly had the homeowners been inside. Additionally, as gas is extremely flammable, any form of ignition could have caused an explosion.

BPM Maintenance are a Bath based company with Gas Safe registered engineers that you can rely on toe perform jobs such as the one mentioned in this article efficiently and safely. They also offer gas safety certificates to Bath, Bristol and the surrounding area which landlords must obtain every year.