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Fife Council Fined for Gas Leak

Posted in: Public Liability 

A gas leak that put workers and the public at risk has resulted in Fife Council being fined £24,000. Homes, businesses and a primary school had to be evacuated when Council employees carrying out drainage works struck an underground gas pipe in 2010.

No one was injured, and no damage was caused to property. However, an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the public were put at risk of injury or death by an easily preventable incident that resulted in tonnes of gas being released. HSE Inspector Mac Young, said:

“This incident was both entirely foreseeable and easily preventable. Fife Council’s failures all related to inadequate risk assessment, lack of safe systems of work and a breakdown principally of the supervision of those employees involved…

“Thankfully, no-one was injured, nor was there any damage to property. That, however, is down more to luck than judgement.”

The Council pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 at Dunfermline Sheriff Court last week.

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