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Liquid Petroleum Gas

Volume 124: debated on Tuesday 15 December 1987

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11.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he is yet in a position to make a statement on the findings of the Health and Safety Executive investigation of the explosion in Balham on 21 August 1987; and when he expects the advisory committee on dangerous substances to announce the results of its consideration of the standards relating to the keeping and use of liquid petroleum gas.

The Health and Safety Executive investigation into the explosion at Balham on 21 August 1987 concluded that the most likely cause was a leak of butane from a gas bottle and gas ring in the basement of the building.

The advisory committee on dangerous substances has considered proposals for future controls over flammable gases and liquids, including standards relating to the keeping and use of liquefied petroleum gas. Its recommendations have been submitted to the Health and Safety Commission for consideration at a meeting to be held shortly.

In the light of the coroner's statement that the canister was not adequately labelled on the occasion of the explosion, will my hon. Friend pay particular attention to the fact that such labelling is required for industrial use of canisters, but not for domestic or retail use? Will he make recommendations accordingly?

My hon. Friend is entirely right in saying that the coroner made remarks to that effect and pointed out the distinction between domestic use and storage of gas and its use in the workplace. I am sure that Calor Gas has taken careful note of what the coroner said.