OHES Environmental Consultancy

Domestic Claims Management



OHES were asked by insurers to investigate contamination arising from an oil loss as a result of a lightning strike on a tree in a domestic garden. The lightning blew shards of wood from the tree through a nearby plastic heating oil storage tank. The resulting catastrophic release of 2000 litres of oil was ignited by the lightning and a burning river of kerosene ran down through the garden setting fire to trees and finally the house itself.

One of our Senior Consultants visited site the following day to find the oil tank melted and a scene of devastation. He quickly established the nature and extent of contamination by carrying out an intrusive site investigation using hand held equipment. His findings were used to estimate the quantity of contaminated soils which would need to be removed and associated costs. It was established that the drinking water well serving the property had also been impacted and would require remedial measures.

A structured programme of risk based remediation was developed and managed by OHES. The works, which included the removal of contaminated soils and treatment of groundwater, were carried out by one of our carefully selected contractors under the management and guidance of OHES to ensure works were carried out on time and to budget. The site was validated as posing no further risk to receptors and OHES arranged for reinstatement of the garden and oil supply.

Throughout this process we provided short, factual reports and frequent verbal communications to our client and liaised with the homeowner, local authority and Environment Agency.

Whilst this is a visually dramatic case we deal with hundreds of smaller cases of domestic oil losses each year involving leaking boilers, corroded pipework, spillages during delivery and oil tank failures.
Spillage Claims
Following a spillage caused by the overfilling of a heating oil tank OHES were asked by Public Liability insurers to investigate the nature and extent of damaged caused by 500 litres of Kerosene seeping into the lawn. The spill was mapped out by our project consultant sampling the affected area and a remediation strategy formulated. Within 3 days of instruction 85 tonnes of contaminated soil had been excavated and the site validated by OHES backed by independant laboratory analysis to demonstrate that risks have been reduced to acceptable levels.

The site was then reinstated to a high standard and OHES reports issued to bring closure to the incident.

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