Firm Fined For Explosion Injuries

Explosion At Work

28.06.2010

A worker was seriously injured in an explosion when gas vapour built up inside a road tanker, a court has been told.

The man's skull was fractured and his arms and legs were severely burned as he was blown off his feet when vapour from a liquid petroleum gas heater ignited.

The firm responsible for his safety, Repair Protection and Maintenance Limited from Kellington village, near Selby in North Yorkshire, was prosecuted for breaking Regulation 4(2) of the Confined Spaces Regulations 1997, and Regulation 3(1) (a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 in July 2008.

Magistrates in Selby fined the company £3,250 and told it to pay £2,656.60 in costs.

The explosion occurred when the heater was being relit, igniting flammable gas accumulating inside the tanker. Health and safety investigators found that the heater was not working when the explosion happened.

The worker lost most of his sense of taste and some of his hearing as a result of the blast. A second worker sustained minor injuries.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “I welcome the fine imposed following this very serious work accident. An explosion at work can, depending on the severity of the blast, cause injury to workers and local residents.

“Employers need to comply fully with health and safety regulations to avoid injury or death in an accident at work.”

Mr Urpeth represented over 75 workers and many residents who were injured in the 2001 at the Killingholme refinery when over 170 tonnes of liquid petroleum gas caught fire, the largest chemical disaster since Flixborough. Conoco-Phillips, who owned the plant, was eventually fined £1m for breaching health and safety regulations after the explosion at its Humber refinery.