Three companies admit breaches after Sutton plumber Adam Johnston died in gas explosion
Three firms have admitted a string of health and safety breaches which led to a plumber being killed in a gas explosion.
Dad-of-three Adam Johnston, 38, of Wendling Road, Sutton, died after more than 60 gas cylinders blew up, destroying part of the HSBC data centre building in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, in November 2008.
An investigation was launched which led Crown House Technologies Ltd, Kidde Fire Protection Services Ltd and Kidde Products Ltd to admit various breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act at Watford Crown Court on Friday.
Dartford-based Crown House Technologies admitted it had breached the Health and Safety at Work Act on two counts - it failed to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all its employees, including Mr Johnston, and it failed to undertake its duties to ensure non-employees were not exposed to risk.
Two other charges against the firm were dropped.
Kidde Fire Protection Services, pleaded guilty to two charges.
The Slough-based company admitted failure to co-ordinate its activities with others to ensure the health and safety of people carrying out construction work and of people affected by the construction work.
It also confessed to failing to plan, manage and monitor construction work carried out under its control so that it is carried out without risk.
And Kidde Products Ltd pleaded guilty to two offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act.
It failed to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all its employees and to conduct its undertaking in such a way as to ensure workers not in its employment were not exposed to risk.
The firms will now be sentenced over the breaches at St Albans Crown Court on April 5.
Despite the guilty pleas the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) would not comment in detail on the case.
A spokesman said: "This is now a matter for the court and it would be inappropriate to comment further until the case has concluded."