10 Apr 2014

Fine 'emphasises hazard control'

8:40 am on 10 April 2014

Workplace safety regulator WorkSafe says the sentencing of a piping contractor over a fatal gas explosion highlights the importance of hazard management.

Philomen Gulland, 48, was killed in the blast while working in a water mains pipe in the Auckland suburb of Onehunga on 4 June 2011.

Canadian Pacific was yesterday fined more than $55,00 for failing to protect its employees and others.

The court found the company failed to identify the explosive gas hazard and did not carry out atmosphere testing.

WorkSafe general manger of investigations, Brett Murray, says Canadian Pacific had a duty to seek out and monitor potential hazards.

The company's lawyer, Paul White, says his client accepts its actions were the probable cause of the explosion.

Mr White says Canadian Pacific has taken steps to improve its health and safety procedures.