Worker Loses Both Legs In Factory Explosion

Engineering Firm Fined After Worker Suffers "Horrific Injuries" In Factory Blast


The management of health and safety at a Worcestershire factory where a man lost both legs in an explosion was "woefully inadequate".

This is according to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Ed Fryer, who was commenting after a court hearing in which Kidderminster-based Filtration Service Engineering was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,325.

Clive Dainty, aged 51, suffered what the HSE described as "horrific injuries" when a 335-litre vessel exploded.

He spent several months in hospital and had to have both legs amputated as a result of the incident. He also sustained head injuries and has limited freedom of movement in his arms.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 after it emerged that serious safety failings had contributed to the accident.

According to the HSE, the firm had been attempting to test the quality of welding on the large vessel and instead of filling it with water, the organisation used compressed air.

The pressure built up to such an extent that the vessel eventually exploded, with one part hitting Mr Dainty.

Such was the immense force of the blast, a fire extinguisher was blown straight through a nearby wooden staircase.

Mr Fryer reiterated the point that pressure testing is an extremely dangerous task and such work needs to be meticulously planned.

"The management of health and safety in this factory was woefully inadequate and simple measures could have been implemented to prevent the incident from happening," he commented.

Mr Fryer added that compressed air was not required in this instance, as the company would have been able to test the welded parts by filling the vessel with water.

"It is a miracle that more people were not injured and that nobody lost their life," he continued.

Factories are among the most dangerous places to work in the UK and HSE figures show the manufacturing sector accounts for one in five occupational fatalities and serious injuries, despite only making up ten per cent of the nation's overall workforce.

Our serious injury solicitors could help you claim compensation if you have suffered an injury at work that resulted in the amputation of a limb. See our Amputation Claims page or Workplace Accident Claims page for more information.