Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Piping contractor fined over Onehunga explosion


Media Release

9 April 2014

Piping contractor fined over Onehunga explosion

Piping contractor, Canadian Pacific Limited, has today been fined $55,250 over a 2011 explosion in an Onehunga water pipe that killed one worker and left another a double amputee.

Philomen Gulland died on June 4 2011 and Ian Winson lost both his legs from above the knee in a gas explosion which left another five workers suffering injuries including fractures, head injuries, lacerations, puncture wounds and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Canadian Pacific was found guilty in the Auckland District Court last December, and was today sentenced on charges of failing to take all practicable steps to protect employees and failing to take all practicable steps to protect others.

The judge who heard the case, Judge Ronayne, accepted that it was not possible to say with absolute certainty what caused the explosion, but it was likely that natural gas leaked from Vector’s gas pipes and migrated into the adjacent water pipe while it was draining. Welding carried out by Canadian Pacific employees in a chamber attached to the water pipe ignited the gas and caused an explosion which vented along the pipe to the victims.

The Judge found Canadian Pacific had failed to identify the hazard of explosive gas, did not carry out atmosphere testing or monitoring either prior to or during ‘hotwork’ (such as welding) and did not instruct its employees to follow Watercare Services’ restricted area procedure.

WorkSafe’s General Manager of Investigations, Brett Murray, said the explosion in the Onehunga water main was a tragic reminder of the risk of working in areas where there is potentially an explosive atmosphere and the importance of proper monitoring and planning.

“Canadian Pacific had a duty to seek out and monitor hazards. It should have identified the potential hazard of explosive gas and planned to deal with it appropriately.

“The company should have known of the potential risk and carried out proper atmosphere testing before and during the work,” said Brett Murray.

The Judge found that the charges were proven but there was insufficient proof to find that the failures by Canadian Pacific caused the explosion. Reparation was therefore not ordered.

Watercare Services, which contracted Canadian Pacific to conduct the work on the water main, was last year fined $81,000 and ordered to pay reparations of $315,000 over the same incident.

[Ends]

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Gareth Morgan: The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – Revisited

Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation... They found that the fresh water policy was a bit murkier than the Environment Minister let on. More>>

ALSO:

Interest Rates: RBNZ Hikes OCR To 3.5%, ‘Period Of Assessment’ Now Needed

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while signalling a pause in rate hikes to assess the impact of moves so far this year. The kiwi dollar sank after Wheeler said its strength was “unjustified” and that the currency could have “a significant fall.” More>>

ALSO:

Fonterra: Canpac Site 'Resize' To Focus More On Paediatrics

Fonterra is looking at realigning its packing operations at Canpac, in the Waikato, to focus more on paediatric nutritionals... The proposed changes could mean around 110 roles may not be required at the site which currently employs 330. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Postie Plus Brand Gets 2nd Chance With Well-Funded Pepkor

The Postie Plus brand is getting a new lease of life after South Africa’s Pepkor bought the failed retailer’s assets out of administration and said it will use its purchasing power to reduce costs of stock and fatten margins. More>>

ALSO:

Warming: Warming Signs From State Of Climate Report

Climate data from air, land, sea and ice in 2013 'reflect trends of a warming planet' -- says the latest State of the Climate report, launched by U.S. and New Zealand scientists. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Embrace Falling Home Affordability, Says NZIER

Despair over the inability to afford a house is misplaced and should be embraced as an opportunity to invest in more wealth-creating activity, says the principal economist at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Shamubeel Eaqub. More>>

Productivity Commission: NZ Regulation Not Keeping Pace

New Zealand regulators often have to work with out-of-date legislation, quality checks are under strain, and regulatory workers need better training and development. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news