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Keltbray fined £18k over Slough retail fire

Keltbray has been fined £18,000 after a sub-contractor cut through a live gas pipe at a site in Slough, causing a fire.

Bracknell Magistrates’ Court heard the incident, which happened in August 2006 at the Queensmere Shopping Centre, occurred because Keltbray had failed to ensure that all services were switched off before the work was carried out.

Health and Safety Executive inspector Karen Morris said: “Companies need clear, manageable and reliable systems to ensure that people are not put at risk in these situations. “In this case, the subcontractor was given a document confirming that it was safe to carry out the pipe-cutting work, but reasonable checks had not been made and the pipe was in fact live.

“Fortunately no one was injured, although the incident caused a significant risk to the safety of site workers and members of the public. The outcome could have been much more serious.”

Keltbray pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act and was also ordered to pay full costs of £20,469 and a £15 victim surcharge.