Page last updated at 14:14 GMT, Thursday, 16 July 2009 15:14 UK

At-a-glance: Stockline inquiry findings

Lord Gill's report into the Stockline plastics factory explosion, which killed nine people, has been released. Here are some of the senior judge's key findings:


CAUSES OF THE EXPLOSION
  • The underground ageing metallic liquid petroleum gas (LPG) pipe was out of sight and out of mind
  • It was inadequately protected when buried, it was subject to rusting and, ultimately, it failed
  • The management of the ICL companies lacked knowledge and understanding about LPG and how it could cause an explosion
  • There were deficiencies in the Health and Safety Executive's oversight of ICL in failing to appreciate the significance of buried pipework
  • When the yard was raised in 1973 and the floor was laid over the open pit area, the safety implications were overlooked

SAFETY WEAKNESSES
  • The unsatisfactory installation in 1969 of the underground pipe conveying LPG from the surface bulk storage tank to the building
  • The raising of the yard in 1973 which buried the LPG pipe where it entered the building
  • The lack of corrosion protection throughout the length of the underground LPG pipe
  • Laying the chequer plate floor over the open pit area in 1982, which effectively put the pipe entry to the building out of sight
  • Weaknesses in the regulatory regimes that existed at the time

RECOMMENDATIONS
  • There should be an action plan for all bulk LPG installations in commercial and industrial premises in the UK
  • The most urgent priority is to identify sites where there is underground metallic pipework between tank and appliance and to replace all such pipework with polyethylene
  • An early inspection should take place of all buildings with an LPG supply to identify hazardous features arising from the building's design and layout
  • There should be continuing and planned development of the safety regime, particularly in relation to the use of polyethylene pipes
  • A permanent system should be introduced where safety questions are reviewed and dealt with on an industry-wide basis


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