This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

HSE admits to breaching safety rules in laboratory accident

12 December 2017

Following an accident at the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) laboratory facility in Buxton, Derbyshire, it has accepted a Crown Censure.

The incident occurred in October last year, during a test on a prototype hydrogen storage vessel to determine whether it would be suitable for its intended use, according to SHP magazine.

When a connector failed during the process to fill the vessel, a quantity of hydrogen escaped under pressure and ignited, resulting in a worker standing nearby sustaining serious burns.

An investigation conducted by HM Inspectors of Health and Safety resulted in a Crown Improvement Notice being served on the HSE, requiring it to provide a safe system of work for proof and leak testing an assembled hydrogen line and test tank.

The investigation found that the pressure test failed due to lack of assessment, planning, management and control of the operation.

It also reported that the incident could have been avoided if recognised, longstanding control measures had been implemented.

The HSE complied with the notice and the injured employee has returned to work.

HM Inspectors of Health and Safety director of field operations Samantha Peace said the HSE had fallen "below the required standard" in its responsibility as an employer.

She further stated that the "Crown Censure is the right course of action.

"HSE has co-operated fully with the investigation and we are satisfied that action has been taken to put matters right," said Ms Peace.

HSE chief executive Richard Judge said his organisation "very much" regretted the incident and the injuries to a colleague.

He admitted that the organisation had not met "the standards we expect of others" and said the HSE accepted the Crown Censure.

This is the maximum sanction that a government body can receive and although it is an official record of a failure to meet legal standards, there is no financial penalty involved, as government organisations do not face prosecution in the same way as private or commercial organisations, SHP reported.

Print this page | E-mail this page


View more articles
Article image

Why the Law Says You Need a Nappy Bin Disposal Service

At home, parents are used to disposing of their babies’ used nappies the same way they do any other domestic waste - bagging it up and sticking it in the r...
Article image

Blue sky thinking recommended to drive Clean Air Day message

Today is Clean Air Day, highlighting the issues faced around the UK caused by poor air quality and the impacts this has on health and wellbeing....
Article image

EXCLUSIVE Inside Canon UK's environment-friendly building in Reigate

At Canon UK sustainability and FM are inextricably linked. PFM visited the Woodhatch site in Reigate to report on the effectiveness of this approach....
Article image

New law guarantees payment for exporting electricity

Facilities of all types with renewable energy installations of up to 5MW will be paid for electricity exported to the grid following the introduction of a ...
Article image

Death of former PFM editor announced

PFM regrets to announce the death of former editor Richard Byatt, who is known by many in the FM sector following ...
Article image

Helping children stay safe and free from abuse

One in 20 UK children have been sexually abuse and around one in eight young people have been bullied on social media....