£1million fine for Shell UK

Shell Uk Limited was fined £1 million and ordered to pay £242,000 costs after pleading guilty to severe breaches of legislation relating to health and safety and the environment.

The prosecution is the result of a fire and explosion at their Bacton gas terminal that occurred on 28 February 2008. The incident happened at about 6pm and it was only due to luck that no personnel suffered any injuries.

The blast, caused by a corroded metal separator vessel allowing hydrocarbon liquid to enter a water treatment section of the plant, caused a concrete roof to blow off a buffering tank. The water that was being treated was heated in a tank as part of this process and had exposed heating elements. The highly flammable leaked hydrocarbon liquid then came into contact with the heating elements and the resulting explosion was caused.

Other offences were caused as Shell UK did not inform the Environment Agency  of the incident and allowed approximately 850 tonnes of water and foam used to control the fire to leak into the sea.

The breaches of legislation that Shell made a guilty plea to were under the the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations 1999, the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations 2000. There were a total of seven breaches.

The full story can be read by following this link: http://www.info4fire.com/news-content/full/shell-fined-1m-after-gas-terminal-blast-and-fire

£158,000 Fine for Landlord’s Fire Safety Breach

In February 2008 some of the occupants of a four storey house that had been divided into flats were forced to flee over the roof of 9 Hillsborough Terrace, Devon, where they lived, due to a fire.

Joseph Ernest Draper, who owned the building at the time of the fire, was found guilty of four offences under the Fire Safety Order 2005.  As a result of this conviction Mr Draper was ordered to pay £135,000 in fines and a total of £23,000 in costs.

Devon and Somerset fire investigators carried out a safety audit after the fire occurred.  The audit found that the fire had started on the ground floor and was able to spread from this area into the escape route as the door giving access to the ground floor flat was not adequately constructed against fire, allowing the spread of fire into the escape route.

It was also found that three doors were not fitted with self closing devices. Had they been fitted with such a device the spread of fire would have been prevented.

Devon and Somerset area manager, Nick Manning, hoped that this conviction would give a clear message to all landlords of flats and that the heavy fines awarded in this case would encourage others to ensure that they did not breach the Fire Safety regulations.

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Hotel company fined £27,000 for fire safety offences

Hotel company Awan Investments Ltd, who manage Ventures hotel in the Paddington area of London, have been issued a £27,000 fine for breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

A member of the public, who had been staying at the hotel, alerted the authorities after finding emergency exits blocked and fire doors being wedged open during their stay in 2009.

This prosecution will help to give the general public the peace of mind knowing that such breaches are dealt with and improvement orders made regarding the safety of the premises.

To read the full story follow the link. http://www.info4fire.com/news-content/full/hotel-company-found-guilty-of-ten-offences

Landlord jailed for two and a half years

Michael Billings was found guilty of numerous breaches of fire safety, health and safety and gas safety regulations. His actions lead to a young woman being severely burnt when a fire broke out in a house of multiple occupancy that Mr Billings owned.

The fire broke out on 14 April 2009 in Miss Skalli’s bedsit. Due to the sash window of her room not opening more than 4 inches, Miss Skalli was unable to escape from the fire. She was found in the room with her hands covering her face, this was the only part of her body not burnt from the intense heat of the fire.

Fire fighters were anxious that Miss Skalli would not survive as she had suffered 80% deep tissue burns to almost all of her skin below her neck.

Other occupants of the building were either rescued by firefighters or used a drainpipe to climb to safety.

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