Company Fined after Fatal Gas Explosion

An asbestos removal contractor has been fined following a gas explosion which caused the death of a worker and caused serious injuries to another worker.

Hamilton Sheriff’s Court heard how on 5 October 2017, workers were removing a boiler and pipework, and overspraying walls to eliminate remnants of asbestos, at the former Pastoral Centre in Bonkle Road, Newmains in Wishaw.

Once the work was completed, the building would be demolished. The boiler and pipework were to be cut into sections to assist with removal. However, the gas supply had not been isolated before starting this process which meant one of the workers cut into a live gas outlet pipe. As a result, the gas ignited causing an explosion. Two workers suffered significant burns and underwent surgery. One of the workers died in hospital days after the incident

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that the risk assessment and plan of the works had outlined services were present in the boiler room, but the company failed to make sure the gas pipe was isolated and purged of gas prior to the commencement of works.

Enviraz (Scotland) Limited of Kelvin Avenue, Hillington Business Park, Glasgow pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company received a fine amounting to £150,000.​