Charges proven against Canadian Pacific Limited over Onehunga pipeline explosion
The Ministry laid two Health and Safety in Employment Act charges against Canadian Pacific Limited in relation to the Onehunga pipeline explosion on 4 June 2011:
- failing to take all practicable steps to protect employees
- failing to take all practicable steps to protect others.
In a reserved judgment just released, Judge R G Ronayne finds the charges have been proved.
A sentencing date has not yet been set.
Judge Ronayne says the company should have, but failed to take, the following practicable steps:
- Identify the hazard of explosive gas
- Instruct its employees to follow the Watercare Services Limited restricted area procedure
- Carry out atmosphere testing or monitoring prior to and during the ‘hotwork”.
Judge Ronayne notes:
- “Because the monitoring was never carried out it is impossible to come to any conclusion as to causation [of the explosion] and in any event I am not required to. Thus the charges are established but there is no sufficient proof that the failures identified were causative of the explosion.”
The Ministry will not be making any comment on the Judge’s decision until after sentencing.
Watercare Services Limited have already been convicted and sentenced in respect of the same incident.
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