Lincoln Crown Court dismisses energy giant's appeal against fine
An energy company has recently had its appeal against a fine for £3m rejected by Lincoln Crown Court.
On 14th December 2015, ConocoPhillips (UK) Ltd submitted a guilty plea against three charges of contravening requirements of the health and safety regulations. In February 2016, the company was fined £1m for each of the three offences, as well as being ordered to pay more than £159,000 in costs.
During the period since November 2012, the firm, which is a UK subsidiary of US Energy Corporation, experienced three separate incidents where gas was released during maintenance work on the Lincolnshire Offshore Gas Gathering System (LOGGS). The work was being carried out on a faulty pressure control valve that supplied fuel gas to a turbine. However, 603kg of gas was released uncontrolled into the hall of the turbine, close to the 66 people who were working on the platform.
The appeal against the fine was held at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, where the judge dismissed it. Lord Justice Treacy stated that the company had not adhered to the appropriate standards required, failing to address serious risks to health and safety. According to the investigation of the case, the firm had failed to take adequate measures to prevent explosion and fire at the installation.
Companies are being charged much higher penalties for breaches of health and safety. Risk assessments, the use of PPE, and other measures are used to ensure the safety of workers.