A waste treatment and disposal company that failed to control the risks from gas cylinders at its site in Bedford has been fined £100,000 after an explosion left two workers with serious injuries.
An employee of B&W Waste Management Services sustained third-degree burns and was put in a medically-induced coma for ten days on a life support machine after the accident that occurred in July 2016. He has undergone several operations and relies on medication for nerve pain, said the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). On of his work colleagues was also burned.
Luton Magistrates’ Court was told that the two workers were using a gas-operated forklift truck to feed pressurised aerosol canisters into a plastic shredder when a spark from the forklift ignited a cloud of gas from the canisters.
B&W Waste Management pleaded guilty to breaching reg 6(1) of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2005. It was fined and ordered to pay £11,603 costs.
HSE inspector Andrew McGill said:
If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life-changing injuries suffered by one employee could have been prevented.