Gas explosion leads to HSE prosecution, three injured workers

Three workers were injured in a recent gas explosion, leading the Health and Safety Executive to prosecute their employer, a St Helens-based gas supply company, work accident claim experts recently reported.

According to personal injury claims submitted to Liverpool Crown Court, during an attempt to remove a valve from a cylinder of liquefied petroleum gas, North West Gases Ltd managing director, John Webster, was caught in an a sudden explosion.  The conflagration ignited the man’s clothing and sent both him and one employee who had been helping him at the time flying across the building, and a third employee who had been directly outside the building was also injured in the massive blast, and the two men closest to the blast were so seriously injured that it was necessary to treat them both at a specialist burn unit, say accident claim experts familiar with the case.

The HSE investigated in the wake of the incident, revealing that the two workers had neglected to make sure that the gas cylinder they had chosen to work on was empty.  Moreover, the workers had likewise not taken steps to ensure that there were no nearby sources of potential ignition.

St Helens native Mr Webster, of Archer Grove, was the target of the HSE’s prosecution, as he was the responsible party during the time of the incident.  The HSE prosecuted the manager, resulting in a fine of £22,500 after he was found guilty of being in breach of health and safety regulations.

One inspector for the HSE, who spoke after the hearing, remarked that it was only blind luck that there were no fatalities from the accident, and that it could have been completely prevented if Mr Webster had seen to taking out even the most rudimentary of safety checks.

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