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May 30, 2012

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PPE saved worker from more serious burn injuries

A demolition firm failed to ensure a gas pipe was made safe before a worker started to cut it, with the result that the gas ignited in his face.

The 37-year-old worker was carrying out demolition work at a warehouse in Burton-on-Trent, when the incident took place, on 16 June 2010. His employer, Birstall Demolition and Plant Services Ltd, had been contracted to demolish a mezzanine floor inside the building, so additional storage racks could be installed.

On the day of the incident, the worker was removing cables and pipes from the mezzanine floor. He had been told the room was safe, so he began cutting a metal gas pipe with an angle grinder. But only part of the pipe had been isolated, and when he cut into it the gas ignited, sending flames into his face and forearms. He spent two days receiving treatment at a burns unit and was unable to return to work for several months owing to his injuries.

When the HSE visited the site the following day, the pipe had been properly isolated so there was no need for enforcement notices to be issued. Its investigation found that a valve in the room had been turned off, but this only isolated part of the pipe. €

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11 years ago

Turning off the gas supply does not make the remaining pipe safe?

Any service needs to be purged to remove residual risk if hot cutting, and even if cold cutting, it is advisable to prevent release of content.

Basic DOSA training covered this in years gone by. No doubt CSCS fails to raise these type of issues. (Waste of plastic that card)

The competence of those involved is undeniably questionable.

Any service should be proven safe, do not rely on being told it is safe.

11 years ago

there is that word again in mitigation no previous convictions. firms become complacent and misted and rely on the workers judgment rather than protecting there employee and checking for themselfs. if you take extra work on then you need to up the antie on the protection of your staff that are working with a deadly chemical dailey. not like being a joiner is it dont treat it like one.