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    FIRM FINED £1M OVER EXPLOSION DURING CLEANING

    Tank cleaning operation caused burns as flammable vapours ignited

    A car and commercial vehicle component manufacturer has been fined after two employees suffered burns whilst cleaning a distillation tank in July 2017 at their premises in Gloucestershire.

    Cheltenham Magistrates heard how the men were injured when the vapour of a flammable chemical, used to clean the tank part of a component washer, ignited and caused an explosion.

    Both employees suffered significant burn injuries. One of the men was so seriously injured that he could not return to work for over two months.

    Safe systems of work are essential

    HSE investigators found that the risks arising from cleaning the tank had not been assessed and a safe system of work was not in place.

    The use of a flammable chemical during the cleaning activity had not been properly planned.

    • Delphi Diesel Systems Limited – of Stonehouse, Gloucestershire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £1,000,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of over £9k.

    Speaking after the case HSE principal inspector Paul Thompson said

    “Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe systems of work, and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in those systems, as well as the substances they use.

    If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the injuries suffered by the employees could have been prevented”

     

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