A manufacturing firm and its director have been fined after a steel drum exploded, which could have resulted in a serious burn injury.
The empty 45-gallon drum, which once contained flammable liquid, caught fire and exploded while it was being cut in half at SPEL Products in Shrewsbury.
Previous incidents had occurred
An employee at the site reported the incident and indicated that this particular method of work had been in operation for a significant period of time, with previous incidents of a similar nature occurring, Shrewsbury Magistrates’ Court was told.
The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which immediately issued a prohibition notice stopping the cutting of metal containers once containing highly flammable liquid or vapour with metal cutting angle grinders.
Fines issued after guilty plea
SPEL Products pleaded guilty to breaching regulations 5(1), 6(1) and 9(1) of the Dangerous Substances and Explosives Atmospheres Regulations 2002. The company was fined £13,666 and ordered to pay costs of £4,856.
SPEL’s director Bryan Peacock was found guilty of breaching regulation 6(1) of the Dangerous Substances and Explosives Atmospheres Regulations 2002. He was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,408.
HSE inspector David Kivlin said the risks of carrying out this type of activity in this way are well known, and there have been many accidents at work of this nature resulting in serious injury and death.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: March 3, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown