The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has hit out at a pair of Yorkshire business partners after a devastating explosion left a worker blind.
The 48-year-old man suffered life-changing injuries when he was caught up in the blast in November 2013.
The worker, who does not want to be named, was blinded in his left eye and lost his left thumb and forefinger.
Didn’t follow guidelines
The explosion at Mason Engineering happened as the partners – Samuel Trevor Mason and Shaun Christopher Mason – were transferring oxygen between pressurised cylinders, Northallerton Magistrates’ Court heard.
They had rigged up a make-shift hose fitting not designed for the high risk procedure. Debris built up in the end of the hose, causing it to overheat and ignite in the oxygen.
The HSE said developing their own practice rather than following the manufacturer’s guidelines led to the explosion. It described the accident at work as one that should never have happened.
Duty of care
Samuel and Shaun Mason admitted breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. They were fined £4,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,171/15 each.
The man now has to live with the permanent consequences of his life-changing injuries.
HSE Inspector Geoff Fletcher says the failure of the partners to consider the risks of transferring oxygen with in house manufactured components meant they failed in their duty of care to protect workers.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: August 8, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown