following an explosion at the Kerrin Point tower block in south
An investigation by the HSE followed a gas explosion at Kerrin Point,
damage to the tower block and surrounding property.
The HSE alleges that Lambeth LBC - owner of the tower block - breached Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA) in that it failed to ensure the safety of its employees in the use of hot water boilers. It is also alleged that the council failed to ensure the safety of persons not in its employment.
It is also alleged that Staward Engineering Ltd, of Holmesdale Road,
Croydon, Surrey, contravened Section 3(1) of the HSWA, in that the
company failed to replace burners on the boilers in a safe way, so
failing to ensure that persons not in its employment were not exposed
to health and safety risks. It is also alleged that the company
breached Regulations 5(1) and 33(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation
and Use) Regulations 1994 (as amended), in that it installed gas
burners, booster, and pipework in an unsafe manner, and failed to
examine the work afterwards.
The HSE also alleges that Colin John Duffel, trading as Heating and
Mechanical Services, 63 Kings Road, Biggin Hill, Kent, breached
Regulations 3(1) and 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use)
Regulations 1994 (as amended), in that he commissioned the gas
burners when he was not competent to do so and while not registered
with CORGI - the Council for Registered Gas Installers. It is also
alleged that Mr Duffell contravened Regulations 5(3) and 33(2) of the
same Regulations in that he did not carry out the commissioning in
accordance with appropriate standards; failed to make sure the gas
burners complied with the Regulations; and that he failed to
disconnect the appliance.
The cases are due to be heard before Horseferry Road Magistrates'
Court, Horseferry Road, London SW1, on 10 December 1998.
1. Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
(HSWA), states: 'It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so
far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at
work of all his employees.'
2. Section 3(1) of the HSWA states: 'It shall be the duty of every
employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so
far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment,
who may be affected thereby, are not thereby exposed to risks to
their health and safety.'
3. Regulation 3(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use)
Regulations 1994 (GSIUR), as amended, states: 'No person shall carry
out any work in relation to a gas fitting or gas storage vessel
unless he is competent to do so.'
4. Regulation 3(3) of the GSIUR states: 'No employer shall allow any
of his employees to carry out work in relation to a gas fitting or
gas storage vessel, and no self-employed person shall carry out any
such work unless he is a member of a class of persons approved for
the time being by the Heath and Safety Executive ....'
5. Regulation 5(1) of the GSIUR states: 'No person shall install a
gas fitting unless every part of it is of good construction and of
sound material, of adequate strength and size to secure safety and of
a type appropriate for the gas with which it is to be used.'
6. Regulation 5(3) of the GSIUR states: 'No person shall carry out
work relating to a gas fitting or gas storage vessel otherwise than
in accordance with appropriate standards and in such a way as to
prevent danger to any person.'
7. Regulation 33(1) of the GSIUR states: 'Where a person installs a
gas appliance at a time when gas is being supplied to the premises in
which the appliance is installed, he shall immediately thereafter
test its connection to the installation pipework to verify that it is
gastight and examine the appliance and the gas fittings and other
works for the supply of gas and any flue or means of ventilation to
be used in connection with the appliance ....'
8. Regulation 33(2) of the GSIUR states: 'Where a person carries out
such testing and examination in relation to a gas appliance and
adjustments are necessary to ensure compliance with the requirements
specified in sub-paragraphs (a) to (d) of Regulation 33(1) of the
said Regulations, he shall either carry out those adjustments or
disconnect the appliance from the gas supply.'
9. The maximum penalty in a Magistrates' Court for any breach of
Sections 2 or 3 of the HSWA is£20,000. The maximum penalty for any
breach of the GSIUR is£5,000. If the case is referred to the Crown
Court, the maximum penalty it may impose is an unlimited fine.