A Kidderminster carpet company and a Guildford engineering inspection firm have been fined following an explosion.
The large pressure vessel, in which carpet fibres are dyed and processed, exploded at Brinton Carpets Ltd’s site at Halesfield, Telford on 4 June 2013, propelling the vessel’s quarter-tonne lid six metres into the air.
No one was injured in the dangerous incident but the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) concluded it could have been prevented.
Lack of maintenance
Brinton Carpets, the owner and user of the vessels, and Allianz Engineering Inspection Services Ltd, who were contracted to carry out examinations of the vessels, were both prosecuted.
Telford Magistrates’ Court heard how the lid, which weighed approximately 250kg, was torn off its locking mechanism and hinges and hit the roof of the factory six metres above. One worker was standing just a few feet from the where the lid landed. Had it hit them, it would have caused a serious head injury.
HSE found that a failure of the vessel’s regulator and pressure relief valve caused the explosion.
Inspectors also discovered that suitable and sufficient maintenance of the vessel’s safety devices was not carried out by Brinton Carpets, while Allianz Engineering Inspection Services had not completed examinations of the vessels for three years.
Brintons Carpets Ltd of Stourport Road, Kidderminster, Worcestershire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 12 of The Pressures Systems Safety Regulations 2000 and was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,174.
Allianz Inspection Services Ltd of Ladymead, Guildford, Surrey, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 9(2) of The Pressures Systems Safety Regulations 2000 and was fined £13,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,111.
Accidents at work
It was extremely fortunate that no-one was injured in the incident.
Accidents at work happen on a regular basis. If you’re unlucky enough to have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you could be entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation.
Accident Advice Helpline is here to help you get the maximum amount of money possible, no matter what the injury. Call them free on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone.
If you’re worried about accidents at work, there are things you can do to minimise the chances of suffering an injury in the workplace.