The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has taken a West Yorkshire firm to court after an industrial oven exploded on their premises. The incident did not lead to any injuries, but it could very easily have been different. A number of workers at the firm, Flexitallic Ltd, had only just walked away from the oven when the explosion took place. They were taken to hospital as a precaution and checked over, but were later allowed to go home.
The industrial oven explosion caused extensive damage, blowing the oven into pieces and also damaging the roof of the building it was in. This is the type of situation in which employees can potentially be very seriously injured or worse. When a business is taken to court for safety breaches, as happened here, it can lead employees to make claims for compensation; Accident Advice Helpline have certainly dealt with similar claims in the past.
A series of safety failures
Huddersfield Magistrates heard the case against Flexitallic Ltd. Gasket sheets were baked in the oven after being mixed with paraffin, which is highly flammable. The baking process must only be done once the sheets are fully dry. However, in this case the sheets transferred into the oven for baking were not fully dry.
In every workplace, risk assessments should be completed to find the best and safest way to perform every task. In this case, a separate operation to dry the sheets had been identified so that the risk of an accident such as this would not occur. However, part of the instrumentation on the drier failed and had not been repaired to ensure this was the case. This is a situation whereby an accident would become more likely. We have fought cases in the past that have occurred for similar reasons, even when the circumstances are entirely different.
A fine plus costs
The company received a fine of £10,000 after entering a guilty plea. They were also told to pay £1,588 in costs. A series of safety failings had been identified as the reason for the explosion.
Accident Advice Helpline are always here with no-obligation advice in situations where workers may have been put at risk or been injured at work. By calling 0800 689 0500 now, you can find out whether your situation might warrant making a no win no fee claim for compensation.