A national oil and environmental services company was fined £25,000 after two workers were badly burned in a tanker explosion in Manchester. One of the men spent three-and-a-half months in hospital and suffered life-changing injuries.
The incident happened as workers were cleaning out the tanker after removing fuel from disused petrol pumps. The court heard that when the rear tanker door was opened, vapours escaped and were ignited by a pressure washer, resulting in the explosion. One man sustained burns to his face and another was taken to intensive care, requiring four skin grafts. The injuries damaged his skin so greatly that he is unable to expose his skin now to sunlight and is unlikely to be able to return to work.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which brought the prosecution, found the firm’s procedure for cleaning out the tanker lorry had been unsafe. Though experienced with flammable substances, its risk assessment for cleaning out the tanker did not identify fire or explosion as a potential danger.
What contributes to an oil tanker accident?
An oil tanker accident is a rare occurrence, but because of the nature of their size and load, the potential for serious injury or death is extremely high if something does go wrong. Explosions can happen when these vehicles collide with another road user, a building, bridge or road sign. And even a small fuel leak caused on impact can be lethal. This is why the drivers of oil tankers receive special training around what and what not to do while transporting their potentially hazardous loads. Road collisions aren’t the only cause of an oil tanker accident though. Workers have also been known to accidentally ignite oil fuel while welding old trucks and lorries.
Want to find out more about professional injury compensation?
If you have experienced an oil tanker accident you can get fast, professional advice free of charge from personal injury lawyers Accident Advice Helpline. You can ask us about the nature of your accident and take advantage of our 14 years’ experience. Call our free enquiry line on 0800 689 0500 now and take advantage of our friendly and helpful advice. We may be able to provide you with a chance to claim compensation via a no-win, no-fee* basis. You can also use a free 30-second claim calculator on our website to get an indication of what you could potentially stand to win in any case.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: February 6, 2015
Author: David Brown