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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