Pub company fined £25,000 after gas explosion

24 November 2016 by
Pub company fined £25,000 after gas explosion

Sussex Pub Management has pleaded guilty to violating the Health and Safety at Work Act after a faulty gas oven explosion.

The propane gas oven exploded at the Three Crowns pub in Wisborough Green due to several faults, Guildford Magistrates Court heard.

He was thrown across the kitchen, his clothes were singed and he suffered burns to his face, hands and arms.

Environmental Health Officers found that the gas oven has not been serviced properly, and repaired by an engineer not registered by the Gas Safe Register, for over five years.

A safety consultant employed in 2012 by the pub company issued a report to have the oven inspected, this was not followed up and an inspection did not take place. The following year, another chef suffered burns trying to light the oven.

Chichester District Council's Environmental Health Officers are now urging employers to give protecting their employees more prominence, and to inspect gas appliances regularly.

Cabinet member for housing and environment services, Councillor Carol Purnell, said: "This was a shocking breach of work health and safety law and several people could have died. Sadly, this was a completely preventable accident if the company had acted early to ensure the gas oven was safe to use. It ignored staff concerns and those of a safety expert and two people were injured. Health and safety laws are there to protect employees and the company failed in its legal duties.

"I hope this case sends a strong message to all employers, that this council will not tolerate neglect of employee safety and will prosecute where appropriate. Every year employers should ensure gas appliances are serviced by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. If there are any employers in the district who have any doubts about what they need to do then our Environmental Health Officers will be glad to advise."

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