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OXYGEN HOSE BURST KILLS FITTER

Workman dies as oxygen hose fails during hazardous operation

An inquest in Norwich has heard how Bob Henderson, aged 54, died when an oxygen hose burst causing massive head injuries. The jury at the inquest returned a verdict of accidental death.

Mr Henderson was a fitter and lorry driver working for Askews Haulage when the accident occurred in August 2008. He was ‘decanting’ compressed oxygen between two cylinders when ignition took place within the hose causing a rise in pressure and failure of the hose.

HSE expert witness informed the jury that such a procedure was “an extremely hazardous activity” that should only be attempted when using suitably designed hoses of proper material, taking additional safety measures and having specific training in the work. These steps had not been taken.

Ray Askew, owner of the firm, said: “Bob was one of the best. He was very conscientious and was the mainstay of the day-to-day running of the vehicles and was in charge of the workshop. He was a good fellow. But never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that he was doing anything like that. I did not know that the small bottles of oxygen and portable welding set that he was using were in my workshop.”

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