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

 

Half Full: Dairy Payouts Steady, Cash Will Be Tight

Industry body DairyNZ is advising farmers to focus on strong cashflow management as they look ahead to the 2015-16 season following Fonterra's half-year results announcement today. More>>

ALSO:

First Union: Cotton On Plans To Use “Tea Break” Law

“The Prime Minister reassured New Zealanders that ‘post the passing of this law, will you all of a sudden find thousands of workers who are denied having a tea break? The answer is absolutely not’... Cotton On is proposing to remove tea and meal breaks for workers in its safety sensitive distribution centre. How long before other major chains try and follow suit?” More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ-Korea FTA Signed Amid Spying, Lost Sovereignty Claims

A long-awaited free trade agreement between New Zealand and South Korea has been signed in Seoul by Prime Minister John Key and the Korean president, Park Geun-hye. More>>

ALSO:

PM Visit: NZ And Viet Nam Agree Ambitious Trade Target

New Zealand and Viet Nam have agreed an ambitious target of doubling two-way goods and service trade to around $2.2 billion by 2020, Prime Minister John Key has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Economy Grows 0.8% In Fourth Quarter

The New Zealand economy expanded in the fourth quarter as tourists drove growth in retailing and accommodation, and property sales increased demand for real estate services. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: RBNZ’s Wheeler Keeps OCR On Hold, No Rate Hikes Ahead

The Reserve Bank has removed the prospect of future interest rate hikes from its forecast horizon as a strong kiwi dollar and cheap oil hold down inflation, and the central bank ponders whether to lower its assessment of where “neutral” interest rates should be. The kiwi dollar gained. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news