Gas explosions in the workplace have caused more injuries during 2019 to 2020 than any other time over the past five years, according to figures from the Health and Safety Executive.
The study of the data by health and safety firm CE Safety, reveals that the injuries and fatalities by gas safety failings such as carbon monoxide leaks and gas explosions were the worst during this time period, with 41 gas explosions injuring 35 people. This was a 58 per cent increase and out of 11 fatalities over the past five years, eight of those occurred in 2019/20 alone.
However, the analysis shows that in 2016-17 the most people were injured by an explosion, with 39 recorded.
The analysts also looked at carbon monoxide poisoning data in the workplace. They noted that there has been a 34 per cent decrease in carbon monoxide poisonings since 2015, with 96 instances, no fatalities being recorded, and 151 non-fatal injuries.
The period 2019-20 was found to be the worst year since 2015, with 41 gas explosions injuring 35 people – a 58 per cent increase, and out of 11 fatalities over the last five years, eight of those occurred in 2019-20 alone.
However, 2016-17 saw the most people injured by an explosion, with 39 recorded.
The analysts also looked at carbon monoxide poisoning data in the workplace. They found that there’s been a 34 per cent fall in carbon monoxide poisonings since 2015, with 96 instances, no fatalities being recorded, and 151 non-fatal injuries.
During 2015-16 there were 146 recorded events of carbon monoxide poisoning, resulting in 225 non-fatal injuries and seven fatalities – the most fatal year since the last five years.
The data also highlighted the effect of ‘other exposures’ in the workplace. CE Safety found that injuries from unburnt gas more than doubled, from six reports in 2015-16 to 13 in 2019-20.
Also in 2018-19, there were six events of ‘other exposures’ resulting in an increase of 117 per cent in the past 12 months. No fatalities were recorded, but the analysts found that these exposures did cause 41 injuries over the last year, with 2019-20 being the worst, with 15 instances noted.
Analysis of the data found that the total number of dangerous gas fittings found were 3,283 in 2019-20 – a 39 per cent increase since 2015-16. However, 2018-19 saw the largest number of these gas safety compromises with 3,456 being recorded.
Overall, more dangerous gas fittings were found to be in non-rented properties – 7,875 were recorded since 2015-16, with 2018-19 being the worst with 2,308 being found.
Meanwhile, in rented properties, 6,216 dangerous gas fittings were found since 2015-16, and 2017-18 was the worst year, recording 1,666.