Ground workers cause rail chaos with gas pipe rupture

Grant Prior 8 years ago
Share

Barratt Homes has been fined after commuters endured two hours of misery when a gas mains rupture on one of its sites forced a rail line closure.

Taunton magistrates heard the developer failed to advise ground workers of the presence of an underground gas main.

An excavator struck and ruptured the pipework at a site in Norton Fitzwarren, near Taunton, on 11 October 2012, because the driver was completely unaware it was beneath him as he dug a trench.

It caused the closure of the nearby main railway line to the South West for emergency repairs, and landed BDW Trading Ltd, trading as Barratt Homes, in court.

An HSE investigation found that BDW Trading Ltd had failed to properly plan the work.

The company had neglected to contact the utility owners to obtain up-to-date plans of the site.

As a result safe digging techniques were not being used because no-one on site had reason to believe they were working anywhere near a gas pipe.

The court heard how a consortium of house builders was engaged in a long-term development project at the site, and that several different subcontractors had worked there over a number of years prior to work stopping in 2008 due to the recession.

Two gas mains operated by separate supply companies run across the site and in 2009 one of these was renewed and re-routed.

When building work recommenced in 2012, BDW Trading Ltd supplied its groundwork contractors with site maps that did not cover the entire site, and that did not show the new route of the gas main.

BDW Trading Ltd, of Bardon Hill, Leicestershire was fined £16,000 and ordered to pay £25,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching CDM Regulations

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Sue Adsett said: “More than 11,000 cubic metres of gas escaped as a result of this incident, one of the largest releases of gas in the South West in recent years.

“It was sheer luck no-one was injured. As it was, the incident caused huge disruption to rail services and passengers.

“It could so easily have been prevented if BDW Trading Ltd had obtained up-to-date plans from the gas supplier after pipes had been relocated on their site in 2009, or upon restarting work at the site in 2012.

“BDW Trading Ltd’s fundamental error was to start work in the area without adequate gas utility drawings.

“House builders should be especially careful when they start working on a site where construction work has stopped and started because vital information may have been lost.”

Latest news

WSP to buy consultant RPS Group for £591m

5,000 staff at Oxfordshire based firm to join WSP
21 mins ago

Countryside puts offsite factory up for sale

Offers invited for Bardon plant which is less than a year old
44 mins ago

M&E specialist Spie UK arm returns to profit

French parent group launches a strategic review of UK operations after performance stabilises
3 mins ago

Site boss fined for locking out safety inspectors

Police called to enter site before fire fighters rescue workers stranded on roof
5 mins ago

Rebid starts for £200m M5 junction job

Cost inflation forces retender for £200m junction 10 rebuild near Cheltenham
55 mins ago

New Downing Construction boss named

Andy Thomas takes top job as Ian Orton steps back after 24 years
31 mins ago

Plans in for 600 homes at London Aylesbury estate

Notting Hill Genesis aims to start work next year on phase 2 of Southwark estate rebuild
4 mins ago

Tide gets green light for UK’s tallest modular tower

Volumetric specialist to build 48-storey student skyscraper at Canary Wharf
2 days ago

TopHat cuts losses and aims for profit in three years

Modular specialist investing for future as latest results show £19.4m loss
24 hours ago

Story Contracting names next chief executive

Andy Joy to be promoted to CEO as Jason Butterwork becomes vice chairman
23 hours ago

Stalled £100m North London build-to-rent tower to start

Essential Living commits to start Swiss Cottage scheme six years after planning OK'd
1 day ago

Bidding starts for Pagabo £1bn medium works deal

Extra small project lot added in framework renewal
1 day ago

Vital funding deal for £50m A38 Midlands upgrade

Work could start early next year on A38 BREP now out to tender
24 hours ago

Graham wins £16m National Railway Museum job

Firm seals pre-construction deal as new museum Central Hall gets planning green light
1 day ago

Demolition starts on half-built £48m Taylor Wimpey flats

Furious local residents blast house builder over "unbearable" noise
4 days ago

Civils contractor fined £600k after boy dies in drainage pipe

Workers find seven-year-old who suffocated on housing site
5 days ago

Plan for trio of towers at old Yorkshire Post site

Galliford Try advises on construction plan for Leeds student and build to rent towers
4 days ago

Insolvency to rival inflation as project cost threat

Inflationary pressures likely to peak this year before easing in 2023, but supply chain stress is growing.
4 days ago

B+K starts £300m Sheffield West Bar scheme

Funding deal triggers start on major mixed-use scheme
4 days ago

Willmott Dixon bags £44m Passivhaus leisure centre

Private builder prepares to start Staines-upon-Thames complex
4 days ago

Go-ahead for £160m Cambridge mixed-use scheme

Devonshire Gardens will consist of 70 private rental flats and 120,000 sq ft of offices
4 days ago

Construction buyers report first drop in output for 18 months

Civil engineering worst performing sector
5 days ago

Construction and infra margins hit 3.2% at Morgan Sindall

Contractor picking deals carefully as inflation continues to bite
5 days ago

Morrisroe Group revenue tops £200m

Pre-tax profit halves to £2.7m as cost inflation bites
5 days ago

Kier to start new £400m ‘smart’ prison this autumn

At least 50 ex-offenders will help build new HMP Full Sutton
6 days ago

Former P&R Morson staff to launch legal claim

Former staff of failed Midlands M&E specialist consult with lawyers following administration
5 days ago

Eight firms win big north west MMC housing deal

JV North consortium plans to build 4,000 homes by 2026
5 days ago

Balfour to replace Ringway Jacobs on £176m Bucks highways deal

Balfour to start new eight-year maintenance contract in 2023
5 days ago

O’Keefe suppliers owed £13m despite Byrne rescue

Unsecured creditors to get less than 2p in the pound for their debts
7 days ago

Taylor Wimpey staff to get £1,000 towards fuel bills

All staff earning below £70,000 will receive a one-off payment
6 days ago

Contractor services