Safety Signs News

Fuel tank explodes and injures worker

14th February 2014 | Health and Safety Signs

Posted by Jason Nicholls

A contractor specialising in decommissioning fuel tanks was prosecuted and fined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an explosion that injured a worker.

An employee was sent to remove two 20,000 litre fuel tanks from a site in Iwerne Minster near Blandford Forum, and was given a disc cutter to cut the tank into small pieces. The worker de-gassed the tank, and checked with a gas detector that there were no remaining fumes.

When he started to cut the tank, however, it exploded, giving him burns to his face and wrist. The explosion also damaged a number of nearby properties and vehicles. A HSE investigation found that the gas detector had not been properly calibrated, and so there may have been gas left in the tank.

The organisation also determined that cold cutting techniques should have been used rather than a disc cutter, which generates heat and sparks.

Laurence Greenland was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £5,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 6(3)(a) of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmosphere Regulations 2002.ADNFCR-2754-ID-801693644-ADNFCR


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