Packaging Firm Fined Over Devastating Workplace Fire

Electrician Left With Life-Changing Injuries


A workplace injury expert has called for companies to not ignore their health and safety duties after a firm was fined £90,000 over an incident which left two people with serious injuries.

Innovia Films Ltd was fined £90,000 over a fire at its plant in Wigton in 2006, which left an electrician and his apprentice with severe burns which the former is still undergoing treatment on.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive revealed a fire had occurred in a fuse box on September 12th, but live cables had been routed through so cooling equipment at the site would function normally.

However, the electricians were asked to remove debris from the box on the following day when they were both struck by a ball of fire which set their clothes alight.

Commenting on the devastating incident, David Urpeth, head of workplace injuries at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Like many of the cases we act in, this one highlights the shocking and life-changing injuries which can be sustained in the workplace if health and safety guidelines are not followed.

“It sadly appears that the firm prosecuted in this case put their operations ahead of the safety of workers, with terrible consequences. Sadly, it appears that the electrician who continues to suffer as a result of the incident will never be able to return to work.

“Lessons need to be learnt from wholly avoidable incidents like this if efforts to improve health and safety across the UK are to succeed.

“The same mistakes simply cannot be made again and it is vital that all companies ensure that safety is the fundamental basis of all of their work they carry out.”