A Hartlepool company has been fined after one of its workers suffered serious radiation burns.
The man, who does not want to be identified, was carrying out tests on safety equipment at Mistras ETS Ltd’s Graythorpe Industrial Estate premises in the town when the incident took place on 19 September 2012.
He sustained severe tissue damage to the middle, ring and little fingers of his right hand, which required surgery. His fingers remain numb, with occasional tingling, although he has since been able to return to work.
Mistras ETS Ltd, based at Dillington, Great Staughton, St Neots, Cambridgeshire, was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £4,930 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
The company also admitted breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Ionising Radiation Regulations 1999, but no separate penalty was imposed.
No safety procedures
Teesside Crown Court heard the man had been working with x-ray equipment in a radiation bay when a separate team was asked to test safety equipment.
The other employees had developed an “ad hoc test method” that involved turning off safety access controls and warning alarms for the radiography bays. During one test the injured worker remained in a radiation bay while the x-ray was energised.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that the workers had not used the x-ray to test the safety equipment before, and that there were no procedures in place for them to carry out the tests safely.
Burn injuries at work
Employers have a legal obligation to protect workers from harm, as well as provide them with the relevant protective equipment if it is required.
Accident Advice Helpline is here to offer advice and support when it comes to making a personal injury compensation claim.
Source: Gazette Live