UK Company Fined After Workers Suffer Serious Leg Injuries

An engineering company was sentenced by the Health and Safety Executive on Wednesday after two employees were seriously injured while disposing of old gas cylinders at work at the company’s site.

An engineering company was sentenced by the Health and Safety Executive on Wednesday after two employees were seriously injured while disposing of old gas cylinders at work at the company’s site.

On January 6, 2017, an employee at Redhall Engineering Services Ltd was asked to decommission about eight or nine gas cylinders believed to contain oxygen. The worker laid the cylinders outside with their pressure release valves open to try to empty out any remaining gas. Later, the employee began removing the valves from the tops of the cylinders.

The valve was stuck on the last cylinder and could not be removed. Another employee came to help and the two attempted to dislodge and remove the valve using a hammer, during which the cylinder and valve separated violently due to the release of gas that remained in the cylinder. The cylinder fired ihe workshop and hit two employees who were standing inside.

The two employees struck by the cylinder suffered serious injuries to their lower limbs, with one sustaining a broken tibia and fibular to both legs and the other a broken tibia and fibular to his left leg and extensive tissue and nerve damage. Both workers required multiple surgeries, spending several weeks in the hospital. One of them is still unable to return to work.

Upon investigation, the HSE found that at the time of the incident, the company had no safe system of work in place for the decommissioning and disposal of old gas cylinders. In addition, the company had not carried out an appropriate risk assessment.

Redhall Engineering Services Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £14,000 (about $18,400) and ordered to pay costs of £2,687.00, or about $3531.

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