Kent based Southern Gas Networks Plc (SGN) and Cliffe Contractors Ltd have been fined for causing a gas leak which injured two employees
Folkestone Magistrates Court heard that Cliffe Contractors Ltd did not follow appropriate safety measures during repair works when excavating around a main pipeline.
The damage caused gas to leak from the pipe which severely burned an employee.
A second worker sustained cuts and bruises from the incident.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that SGN did not follow their own procedures or recognised safe systems of work when repairing the main.
Southern Gas Networks Plc pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 at an earlier hearing was fined £1.2million and ordered to pay costs of £18,975.43.
Cliffe Contractors Ltd also pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £12,689.13.
Speaking after the hearing HSE Principal Specialist Inspector Martin Wayland said:
“This incident, in which a worker could have easily been killed, could have been avoided if safe excavation by Cliffe Contractors had been carried out and safe mains repair policies had been followed by SGN.
“Both companies were aware of the precautions that were required to be taken.
Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards”