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    PETROL VAPOUR DANGER LEFT UNCONTROLLED

    Workman suffered severe burns during refuelling equipment

    A company specialising in spray foam insulation services has been fined after an inexperienced worker suffered severe burns during the refuelling petrol powered equipment in January 2015.

    Southwark Crown Court heard how workers were spraying insulation into a ceiling cavity of a retail outlet from spray equipment installed in a van parked outside the premises.

    The workman entered the van to refuel the equipment from a container fixed within the compartment containing a petrol powered compressor/generator. When the container was opened petrol sprayed over the workman and the compartment and the vapour ignited immediately thereby covering him in flames.

    The injured man was in a coma for three months and spent over a year in hospital.

    Risk reduction measures not taken

    HSE investigators found that the company failed to ensure that risk from petrol was either eliminated or reduced so far as is reasonably practicable.

    Reasonably practicable actions which HSE argued could have been taken included: the use of diesel powered spray foam equipment or reducing the frequency of refueling by installing a larger fuel tank or tanks. Refilling could then be reduced to once a day and taken place at the beginning of the day when the equipment was cool and not in operation.

    The potential for petrol spillage could have been reduced by storing away from sources of heat and confining it to smaller containers or by using a non-spilling fuel delivery nozzle.

    • Greenseal Insulation Ltd – of Wycombe Road, Birmingham, B28 9EN pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR) 2002. The company has been fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,779.

    Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Gabriella Dimitrov said:

    “This was the worker’s second day on the job. He suffered horrific injuries due to the company’s failure to adequately consider the risks from refuelling and implementing safer alternatives to the system of work requiring refuelling petrol powered equipment every two hours.”

     

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