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Merepark Construction Fined Over Liverpool Gas Safety Issues

Part Of City Centre Evacuated Following Discovery Of Damaged Pipe


By Rob Dixon

Merepark Construction Ltd has been fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs in relation to a gas leak in Liverpool city centre In January 2012, which caused disruption and led to fears of a potential explosion in the area.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, in a hearing at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court, it was heard how the company was the principal contractor for a project to convert the former Lewis’s department store into a new mixed use development.

It was revealed that a gas supply pipe was left with a two-inch hole after it was damaged by debris during demolition work, with the discovery of the problem leading to evacuations across the surrounding area.

The court was told that while Merepark had arranged for pipes leading from a gas meter into the building to be disconnected, no action was taken to disconnect the gas supply to the meter or protect the pipe during the demolition work.

Irwin Mitchell’s specialist lawyers represent people who have been injured as a result of accidents in public places, helping them to gain justice over the ordeals they have faced.

David Urpeth, a Partner and expert in public liability claims at the national law firm, said: “While no one was injured in this incident, it is clear that the consequences could have been much worse and it is vital lessons are learned from it.

“Basic steps to protect the pipework from the demolition process could have made a huge difference, while measures to ensure all aspects of gas supply had been disconnected may have also significantly reduced the potential risks.

“We would urge the construction industry as a whole to ensure that they recognise the serious issues raised in this case and ensure that the same problems are not repeated in the future. The potential dangers to both the public and workers simply cannot be ignored.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in relation to Accidents In Public Places