It has been reported by the HSE (http://press.hse.gov.uk/2017/company-prosecuted-after-workers-were-severely-burned/) that PSL Worldwide Projects Ltd has been sentenced for safety breaches after two of its workers were burned when they were sprayed with chemicals during chemical cleaning of a pipework system. The workers were using Sodium Hydroxide granules to clean a pipe system. A reaction occurred between the chemicals and water in the system that caused the liquid to heat up building up pressure in the hose. The hose detached and sprayed the two workers with the solution, causing severe burns.
One operative received life threatening burns to his back, buttocks, arms, leg, neck and one side of his face. The other operative received burns to the right side of his head, his neck, and back, left arm and behind his right ear.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identified that the task was not adequately risk assessed, the equipment provided to do the job, in particular the hosing, was not suitable for the solution, and the company failed to provide adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) to its employees.
PSL Worldwide Projects Ltd of Bridgewater Lane, pleaded not guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 on 28 November 2016 at Bedlington Magistrates Court but they were found guilty and the case was referred to Newcastle Crown Court for sentencing. Today they were fined £150,000 by Newcastle Crown Court.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Laura Catterall commented: “If a suitable risk assessment had been undertaken it would have identified that the equipment being used was not right for the chemicals or the work being carried out. All companies who work with high hazard chemicals should learn from this case and ensure that their workers are properly protected.”
An employer is under a duty to take reasonable care of its employees’ health and safety, and has a duty to ensure the safety of its employees.
An employer must provide safe premises, a safe place to work, safe plant, material and equipment and a safe system of working.
If you have suffered an injury, caused by lack of safety equipment or faulty work equipment, then contact our team today at Ringrose Law where we can advise you if you have a claim. We work hard to ensure that our clients who are failed by their employers get the compensation they deserve. Alternatively call into one of offices at Boston, Lincoln, Spalding, Sleaford, Grantham or Newark.
*Remember always fill in the accident book and report any incidences of a near miss to your employer*