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Firm fined after welder burned in acetone fire

4th March 2014 | Health and Safety Signs

Posted by Ben Alexander

A Didcot company has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following an incident where a welder suffered serious burns due to an acetone fire.

The workshop contained an open bowl containing seven litres of acetone, intended for use as a degreasing agent. However, the HSE established that the welders often used the substance to quench hot objects despite the fact that acetone is highly flammable.

A 38-year-old employee did just this, quenching a hot item in the acetone, and as a result it caught fire. Some spilled onto and through his trousers, seriously burning his leg.

Had the workplace performed a risk assessment, they would have seen that this was an unsafe situation and could have used safety signage to warn employees off using the acetone for quenching items.

Thames Cryogenics Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £4,500 in costs.ADNFCR-2754-ID-801699982-ADNFCR


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