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    TWO WORKMEN DIED IN SPRAY BOOTH EXPLOSION

    Flammable vapour ignited by ignition sources present at the scene

    A Norwich manufacturing firm has been fined after two employees working with flammable substances in a spray booth died in an explosion in July 2015.

    Norwich Crown Court heard how the two workmen sprayed several welded steel buckets and were preparing for the next batch.

    The flammable vapour generated whilst cleaning or flushing a paint spray gun was ignited by one of the “various sources of ignition” which were present at the scene. The resultant explosion claimed the lives of both workers.

    Wholly avoidable incident

    HSE investigators found the immediate cause of the explosion to be the “inconsistent and incomplete approach” to health and safety by the company and its employees.

    This resulted in the lack of suitable control measures; specifically, a suitable and sufficient safe system of work for the activities in the spray booth.

    • Harford Attachments Limited – of Spar Road, Norwich pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and breaching Regulation 6(4)(f)(i) of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmosphere Regulations 2002 and has been fined £145,000 and ordered to pay costs of £65,900.

    Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Keith Waller said:

    “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to implement safe systems of work, and failure to ensure that health and safety documentation was communicated and followed.

    Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

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