Plumber fined just £500 despite causing an explosion

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HSE logoA self-employed plumber has been fined £500 for safety failings that led to an explosion at a domestic property in Lancashire.

Burnley Magistrates’ Court heard that, in May 2014, Lee Barrett failed to put in place the appropriate safety devices when removing an existing water tank for a loft conversion at a property in Cambrian Way, Haslingden.

Mr Barrett had, effectively, created a closed water system combined with an old immersion heater, which allowed water to heat to 100ºC in a copper cylinder.

Catastrophic damage was caused to the property when the cylinder ruptured and the stored water suddenly became steam. The property had to be significantly demolished and rebuilt.

Mr Barrett, of Mercer Crescent, Haslingden, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive and pleaded guilty to Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and fined a total the £500, with costs of £933.

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