Demolition company fined for gas pipe burns
Health & Safety update 29/05/2012
A West Yorkshire demolition company has been heavily fined for
safety failing that led to a worker being seriously burned when a
gas pipe ignited in his face.
The worker was employed by Birstall Demolition and Plant
Services Ltd of Birstall, West Yorkshire, when the incident
occurred during demolition work at a warehouse in Burton-on-Trent.
He used an angle grinder to cut into a metal pipe, unaware that it
was still live and still contained gas.
The 37-year-old worker received serious burns to his face and
forearms and was taken to the local hospital. He was subsequently
transferred to the specialist burns unit at Birmingham Queen
Elizabeth Hospital, where he was treated for two days.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the
accident could have been prevented had basic safety checks been
HSE inspector, Alastair Choudhury, said that it showed the
importance of making sure that demolition tasks are planned,
supervised and monitored rigorously.
“Birstall Demolition and Plant Services Ltd failed to perform
the simplest of checks to protect their employee by not making sure
that the pipes were safe,” Mr Choudhury said.
"This employee suffered serious burns, which would have been
worse if he had not been wearing goggles and safety gloves. For a
lengthy amount of time after the incident, he was not able to
return to work. However he is now working again, for a different
employer, still bearing the scars from his ordeal.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the
Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £10,000,
with costs of £4,256.
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