Death of worker from burns: Yorkshire Water Services fined £733,000
Death of worker: company fined £733,000 Health and Safety Executive v Yorkshire Water Services Ltd (2018) Leeds Crown Court, September 18 Statutory reference: s.2 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974 (HSWA) Yorkshire Water Services Ltd has been fined following the death of a worker from burns. The facts
In July 2015 Michael Jennings, a fitter employed by the company, was working in a confined space at Tadcaster Sewage Treatment Works.
Oxygen gas injection was used to assist the clean-up process.
Jennings was using an angle grinder to cut through of corroded bolts when sparks struck his overalls which burst into flames. He suffered fatal whole body burns.
The atmosphere in the confined space was oxygen-enriched which greatly increased the risk of fire.
A near-miss report had been recorded at the same place in 2014. The company had concluded that the issue was resolved and that there was no further risk from oxygen enrichment.
The company’s risk assessment and permit to work procedures had been inadequate. There were no site-specific procedures and the risk assessment form did not include oxygen enrichment as a possible hazard.
Workers did not have the knowledge or experience to recognise that oxygen enrichment was a potential hazard.
The decision The company was fined £733,000 plus £18,000 under s.2 of HSWA.