Glass manufacturer fined almost £20,000 after employees injured in explosion
26 October 2015
On 22 October, a Chester glass container manufacturer was fined for serious safety breaches after two employees were injured in a flash fire. Encirc Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following an incident at Ash Road, Elton, Chester on the 14 May 2014. Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard two fitters suffered burns to their face and heads when a gas canister exploded.
While the employees were welding pieces on work benches, with flammable aerosols stored around them, a gas canister exploded causing a flash fire and injuring the men. Oxyacetylene welding was also taking place in the area giving rise to a further risk of fire and explosion and putting other employees at risk.
The HSE investigation found no risk assessment had been carried out and no instruction was given to operatives in relation to the storage and use of flammable aerosols on work benches in the mould shop.
HSE found the company had failed in its duties towards its employees and in the failure to assess the risks and to implement control measures.
Encirc Ltd of Gortahurk Road, Enniskillen, Northern Ireland pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £772.90
Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Jane Carroll said: “This case highlights the fact that a failure to properly assess the risks within a workplace and take effective remedial action can lead to poor practices developing and employees being injured.”