Shell fined for Canvey leak

An escape of 16 tons of butane gas from Shell UK's Shellhaven oil refinery on Canvey Island, Essex has cost the company a fine of £500. Essex magistrates imposed the fine on 27 April after Shell had pleaded guilty to a charge of not providing a safe place of work for their employees under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The incident occurred on 23 October, when butane leaked from a pipeline from which three flange blanks had been removed following hydraulic testing. The Health and Safety Executive discovered that Shell had failed to draw up a safe system of work, providing no formal guidance on commissioning procedures. A more serious incident was averted by the prompt response of the company's emergency services, and Shell have now introduced improved pipeli

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