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This article was published on September 7th, 2015
A Magistrates Court heard how a man lost his eye and two fingers after an explosion at an Engineering firm.
The accident happened when the worker was transferring oxygen between pressurised cylinders. This is an extremely dangerous procedure however the business partners had developed a system using a make-shift hose that was not fit for purpose and did not follow manufacturer safety guidelines.
As a result of using this faulty process the HSE investigation revealed how the ill-fitting hose caused debris to build up in the end, causing it to overheat and eventually igniting the oxygen.
A 48 year old man was caught in the explosion and suffered life changing injuries which included being blinded in his left eye and loss of his left thumb and forefinger.
The owners of the engineering firm both pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and were fined £4000 each and ordered to pay costs of £1171/15 each.
An HSE Inspector said:
“This was an accident that should never have happened. …… admitted to developing their own practice rather than following the manufacturer’s guidelines. Unfortunately their employee has to live with the permanent consequences of their failure to consider the risks of transferring oxygen with in house manufactured components”
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