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Company Fined After a Fatal Gas Explosion 

An asbestos removal contractor has been found guilty and fined after a worker was left fatally injured and another seriously injured from a gas explosion.

On 5Th October 2017, two workers were removing a boiler and pipework, and overspraying walls with the aim to remove asbestos residue. The workers were carrying out this work prior to demolition at a former Pastoral Centre in Wishaw. When cutting out the boiler and pipework, they cut through a live gas pipe outlet pipe which was not isolated and caused the gas to ignite causing the fatal explosion.

The two workers had received extreme burns to their body and had to undergo surgery but one of the employees died several days after the incident in hospital.

The HSE underwent an investigation into the incident and found that the company failed to make sure the gas pipe was safe, isolated and purged before the workers began work.

Hamilton Sherrif’s Court found Enviraz (Scotland) Limited of Kelvin Avenue, Hillington Business Park, Glasgow guilty of breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at work etc Act 1974 and was fined £150,000.

HSE inspector Helen said on the matter: “Given the potential consequences of using a power tool on live or unpurged pipework, the management system to establish the status of the pipework needs to be robust and there should be written confirmation of isolation… Tragically, one man has lost his life as a result of this incident and a second worker has sustained life-changing injuries.”

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