Chevron fined for Pembroke blast that killed 4 people

Julie Schmitz, Dennis Riley, Robert Broome and Andrew JenkinsImage copyright
Family handout

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Julie Jones, Dennis Riley, Robert Broome and Andrew Jenkins died in a blast

The former owners of an oil refinery in Pembroke have been fined £5m after 4 contractors were killed in an explosion.

Dennis Riley, Robert Broome, Andrew Jenkins and Julie Jones had been removal a chemical storage tank during a afterwards Chevron refinery in 2011 when incendiary gases inside it ignited.

A fifth worker, Andrew Phillips, suffered life-changing burns.

Chevron pronounced it recognized it “did not live adult to” a possess standards.

After a hearing, Health and Safety Executive examiner Andrew Knowles pronounced a collision was “entirely preventable”.

  • “Numerous opportunities” missed to save workers’ lives

Chevron will have to compensate a excellent and justice costs of £1m as partial of a understanding it struck with Valero Energy UK, that bought a site after a disaster.

Specialist cleaning association BA Contracts, that employed Mr Broome and Mr Jenkins, was fined £120,000 and systematic to compensate costs of £40,000 after revelation health and reserve breaches.

Media captionFour contractors died in a explosion

Sentencing during Swansea Crown Court, Mr Justice Lewis pronounced no excellent could “reflect a value of someone’s life.”

“The tragedy has had a harmful impact on a families of those who died and on Mr Phillips and his family,” he said.

“Nothing this justice says or does can move behind a 4 people who mislaid their lives or minimise a pang of Andrew Phillips.”

Those operative for Chevron had unsuccessful to “know of or appreciate” a risk of “flammable vapour,” that had been building adult in a tank over a years.

  • Refinery blast: Charges brought opposite companies
  • Chevron apologises for Pembroke oil refinery deaths
  • Refinery deaths: ‘Blast caused by gases igniting

The justice listened that days before a blast one Chevron workman carried out a gas exam that should have alerted a refinery to a incendiary atmosphere, though a formula were possibly miscommunicated or “not understood”.

“If a work had have been stopped [at this point] a blast would not have happened. The 4 deaths and a injuries would not have happened,” pronounced a judge.

Experts believed a blast would have been caused by possibly a hint from a workers’ unearthed hosepipe or by substances in a tank, that can light casually when dry.

Mr Justice Lewis pronounced BA Contracts unsuccessful to follow a possess health and reserve custom by regulating an unearthed hosepipe to empty a tank.

Both companies formerly certified health and reserve offences.

Image copyright
HSE

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The Health and Safety Executive pronounced a collision was “entirely preventable”

Andrew Jenkins’ mom Linda pronounced “justice hadn’t been done”.

“They are all going home to their family,” she said. “I’ll never see my son again.”

Chevron pronounced it “fully accepts” shortcoming and recognized it “did not live adult to” a possess standards. It had “implemented changes” to equivocate another disaster.

“Chevron continues to remember those individuals, families and colleagues influenced by a incident,” it said.

BA Contracts also supposed shortcoming and pronounced if it could “turn a time back” it would “in a heartbeat”.

A orator said: “Denny, Andrew, Robert were dear friends to all of us, and Andrew was also family.”

Safeguards had been implemented so “this can never occur again.”