Interserve fined after M&E blunders at animal lab

Grant Prior 6 months ago
Share

Interserve’s facilities management arm has been fined after multiple safety failings at a laboratory site for the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency in Weybridge.

Hove Crown Court heard how, on Sunday 21 September 2014, mains power was lost at the site which includes high containment laboratory facilities required to safely handle high hazard pathogens that are a serious risk to human health and the environment.

Interserve Facilities Management Ltd was contracted to the site and was responsible for delivery of maintenance activities for many of the mechanical and electrical systems.

The court heard that when mains power was lost, of the twelve generators in place to supply emergency power to the site, two failed to operate and two started but subsequently failed in operation, one of which also caught fire.

The emergency escalation system was triggered, and the Fire and Rescue Service attended the site. Power was fully restored later that day.

As a result of the emergency generator failures, the court was told all power was lost to a number of high containment facilities for several hours, affecting the site’s safety systems.

An HSE investigation found a number of failings of the contractor in relation to the maintenance activities undertaken on standby generators that could have resulted in employees being exposed to a risk of harm from biological agents.

Interserve (Facilities Management) Ltd pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £93,600 and ordered to pay £32,056 costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Intervention Programme Manager and lead investigator in the case, Dr Keith Stephenson said: “Interserve Facilities Management failed to effectively maintain the standby generators that were a key emergency control measure needed to work safely.

“Fortunately, the consequences of the multiple generator failures were significantly reduced by the timing of the incident, both in terms of the day of the week and the laboratory studies being undertaken at that time.

“Had the incident happened on a different day or when different studies were being undertaken, staff and the nearby environment could have been exposed to high hazard biological agents with serious consequences.”

Latest news

Crossrail delay speeds-up construction above station

Mace benefits from not having to build above a live station at Bond Street
21 hours ago

Industry hopes rise for more flexible post-Brexit immigration rules

£30,000 salary minimum for "low-skilled" workers could be scrapped
14 hours ago

Contract race underway for £500m Tottenham Hale scheme

Developer Argent Related unveils plans with construction set to start in October
17 hours ago

British Steel goes into liquidation

Official Receiver now in charge and vows to continue supplying customers
17 hours ago

Facade specialist Face ceases trading

Specialist folds during major retrofit contract at Brentford student scheme
22 hours ago

Crest Nicholson raids Linden Homes for new chief

Linden Homes former divisional chairman Tom Nicholson starts next week
22 hours ago

Kier wins £20m Sheffield Park Hill student scheme

Flats at iconic estate will be converted into 356 student homes
1 day ago

Site inductions to contain modern slavery warnings

How to spot labour exploitation now explained alongside traditional health and safety briefing
1 day ago

Plastic road built on new housing development

Springfield Properties recycles waste plastic to help build new road
2 days ago

Boost your online presence – join the Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers showcases products, services and latest stories
1 year ago

Galliford Try confirms 350 construction job cuts

Slimmed-down division to focus on building,water and highways
2 days ago

Dawnus went down owing supply chain more than £40m

Subcontractors left in the lurch again following latest collapse
2 days ago

Interserve benched on £1bn Welsh framework

SEWSCAP 3 deal: Details of latest winners
3 days ago

BAM Nuttall profit hits 10-year high

Operating margin back to 3% as profit tops £26m
3 days ago

Diversification shields Keltbray from demolition slowdown

Contractor looking at new markets as core commercial workloads fall
2 days ago

Robertson lures property boss from Henry Boot

Nick Harris joins from one of contractor's biggest clients
3 days ago

Esh gears up for £36m Sunderland road job

Esh mobilises to start phase 3 of city strategic corridor
2 days ago

London office work shifts towards major refurb projects

London crane survey shows little sign of Brexit blues
3 days ago

US consultant Tetra Tech to buy WYG for £43m

WYG board backs 55p a share offer at big premium to 16p share price
3 days ago

Prater soars past £100m revenue

Envelope specialist optimistic 2019 will see another year of growth
3 days ago

Construction to start on new Farringdon scheme this year

Helical and AshbyCapital acquire Charterhouse Place
3 days ago

VolkerFitzpatrick wins £27m rail station upgrade

Two stations to be upgraded in Cambridge and King’s Lynn enhancements
3 days ago

Joiner hit in face by falling steel beam

House builder fined £60,000 for lack of site supervision
3 days ago

Major contractors going cool on road maintenance market

Highways England taking more work in-house and looking to work direct with supply chain
6 days ago

Infrastructure project final costs average 80% above bid prices

Success measures for projects should shift from an over-focus on costs towards whole-life benefit
6 days ago

Newcastle firm targets £50bn London rooftop homes sector

High Street Group buys London rooftop penthouse firm
6 days ago

London Bridge 39-storey student tower approved

Student accommodation projects return to the Capital
6 days ago

Kier clinches £22m Paisley town hall revamp

Main construction to start early next year
7 days ago

Consultation opens on £1bn trans-Pennine A66 dualling

Plan to dual eight stretches of highway from Penrith and Scotch Corner
6 days ago

Kier project and commercial teams at loggerheads

Insiders reveal tension between teams on major projects
7 days ago

Contractor services