Fylde coast plumbing firm fined £5,000 after gas explosion

A plumbing and heating company has been fined £5,000 after an employee suffered serious burns following an explosion at a bungalow in Preesall.

Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 12:30 pm
Plumbing and heating firm John Leadley Ltd received a fine at Blackpool Magistrates' Court

Blackpool Magistrates’ Court heard that on March 13 last year, John Leadley Limited had been replacing a gas boiler in the hallway of the property.

As part of this work, an employee was soldering new water pipes when there was a sudden explosion, which caused serious burn injuries.

The homeowners were in the property at the time of the explosion and were also put at risk of serious injury.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that a flammable atmosphere had developed within the hallway of the property, which was then ignited by a blow torch.

A gas supply pipe has been cut prior to installation of the new boiler, but the open end of that pipe had not been sealed with an appropriate fitting.

The gas supply had not been correctly isolated from the property, allowing gas to pass through the open-ended pipe into the hallway, creating the flammable atmosphere.

The company, of Victoria Road East, Thornton, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,756.35.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Anthony Banks said: “The injuries to this employee could have been avoided simply by carrying out correct safe working practices.”