Canadian Pacific Limited

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
4 June 2011
 
Plea:
Not Guilty
 
Decision:
Convicted and discharged for S15 charge
Convicted for S6 charge
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$55,250 and $2,500 for prosecution costs

Safety lessons learned:
  1. Identify the hazard of explosive gas being present in or around the valve chamber.
  2. Instruct its employees to follow the WSL restricted area procedure.
  3. Carry out atmospheric testing/gas monitoring before and during the work.

Defendant name:
Canadian Pacific Limited
 
Industry:
Water services
 
Date of offence:
4 June 2011
 
Facts in brief:
The Defendant company, Canadian Pacific Limited (“CPL”), is a specialist piping contractor and carries out work primarily in the water and wastewater industries. Watercare Services Limited (“WSL”) is a council organisation that is responsible for Auckland's drinking water and waste water networks.

In 2011 WSL was upgrading the Auckland water supply system by adding an additional water main pipe known as Hunua 4. The Hunua 4 pipe was to be placed underneath the existing Hunua 3 water main pipe in Onehunga. Part of this upgrade involved cutting out a section of the existing Hunua 3 pipe and placing in a "T" section that connected it to the new Hunua 4 pipe. This work required the Hunua 3 pipe to be emptied. To take advantage of the drained pipe, WSL also contracted CPL to replace a leaking air valve in an air valve chamber on the Hunua 3 pipe.

Vector Limited's (“Vector”) natural gas distribution system ran parallel to both the Hunua 3 and 4 pipes.

On Friday, 3 June 2011 at approximately 11pm WSL isolated the Hunua 3 pipe at two isolation valves and drained the pipe.

On Saturday, 4 June 2011, two workers entered into the pipe to inspect internal damage While inside, their personal gas detectors sounded and they extended the pipe. A ventilation fan was set up at the entrance. Within the hour, two employees re-entered the pipe, carrying personal gas detectors. After a few steps inside the pipe, one photograph was taken before an explosion occurred. The force of the explosion blew both employees out of the east section of the pipe, across the trench and into the west section.

One employee died at the scene from multiple injuries caused by the explosion.
 
Offence section:
SS6 and 15 Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
 
Date charged:

Court:
Auckland - District Court
 
Plea:
Not Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Convicted and discharged for S15 charge
Convicted for S6 charge
 
Fine imposed:
$55,250 and $2,500 for prosecution costs
 
Maximum fine available:
$250,000 per offence
 
Reparation:
$0