Contractor pleads guilty after worker injured when over-inflated pipe stopper exploded

Galliford Try Construction has been fined £15,000 after pleading guilty to a safety breach at a site in Holyhead, north Wales.

A subcontractor was injured when an over-inflated pipe stopper exploded in Holyhead on 16 June 2005, while he was working on the construction of water treatment works.

The pipe stopper burst due to an incompatibility with the device used to inflate it which had a higher pressure safety cut-off, leaving the worker with fractures to the tibia and fibula, as well as hearing damage.

HSE inspector Debbie John said a number of failings had been indentified in the investigation into the case, including “a failure to provide any rescue equipment for staff working in confined spaces, and a failure to provide safeguards.”

Galliford Try was fined and ordered to pay costs of £8,788. Selwood, a Hampshire-based firm which had provided the pipe stopper and inflation equipment, also received a fine of £3,000 and was ordered to pay costs of £8,798.