Plumber fined after causing massive explosion

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A self-employed plumber has been fined for safety failings that led to an explosion at a domestic property in Cambrian Way, Haslingden.

Burnley Magistrates’ Court heard how, in May 2014, Lee Barrett failed to put in place the appropriate safety devices when removing an existing water tank for a loft conversion. He had, effectively, created a closed water system combined with an old immersion heater, which allowed water to heat to 100ºC in a copper cylinder.

Catastrophic damage was caused to the property when the cylinder ruptured and the stored water suddenly became steam. The property had to be significantly demolished and rebuilt.

Lee Barrett, of Mercer Crescent, Haslingden Lancashire, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive and pleaded guilty to Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and fined a total of £500 with costs of £933.