• Robert Spicer

Gas cylinder explosion: worker seriously injured

Exploding gas cylinder: £40,000 fine

Health and Safety Executive v J&R Gases Ltd (2017) Blackpool magistrates’ court, August 21.

Statutory reference: s.2 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974 (HSWA)

The facts

· An employee of J&R Gases Ltd was filling mixed-gas cylinders by connecting the cylinders to a high-pressure filling system. The cylinders were for use for dispensing drinks.

· A cylinder exploded. The worker suffered life-changing leg injuries.

· The work had not been properly planned. There had been a lack of thorough pre-fill checks of the cylinders.

· The worker had not received adequate training or instruction in how to carry out pre-fill checks.

The decision

The company was fined £40,000 plus £5900 costs under s.2 of HSWA for failing to ensure the health and safety of employees.

An HSE inspector commented after the case that robust pre-fill checks of high pressure cylinders should be carried out before they are filled and workers must be informed of this.

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