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HOT WORK NEAR GAS CANISTER CAUSED EXPLOSION

Risks from flammable aerosols were not assessed and controlled

Encirc Ltd has been fined after two employees were injured in a flash fire following an incident at their premises in Chester on the 14 May 2014.

Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard that two fitters working in the workshop suffered burns to their face and heads when a gas canister exploded.

The men were welding pieces on work benches (with flammable aerosols stored around them) when a gas canister exploded causing a flash fire injuring the men.

Oxyacetylene welding was also taking place in the area giving rise to a further risk of fire and explosion and putting other employees at risk.

Operatives not properly instructed in storage and use

HSE investigators found that a risk assessment had not been carried out and no instruction given to operatives in relation to the storage and use of flammable aerosols on work benches in the workshop.

Encirc Ltd of Enniskillen, Northern Ireland pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £772.90

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Jane Carroll said

“This case highlights the fact that a failure to properly assess the risks within a workplace and take effective remedial action can lead to poor practices developing and employees being injured.”

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