Work accident claim experts say that one thirty seven year old demolition worker was caught in a gas pipe explosion on the job, with his forearms and face suffering serious burn damage as he cut through a gas pipe he had been told had been inactive with an angle grinder.
The unnamed man, whose anonymity is being preserved by the press, had been working on a warehouse demolition project in Burton-on-Trent for Birstall Demolition and Plant Services Ltd, his employer, at the time of the incident. The Wkefield, West Yorkshire native had been cutting material away from a mezzanine area shortly before the accident, according to testimony heard by Burton-on-Trent Magistrates’ Court; the pipe, which was not inactive as the worker had been led to believe, had been filled with gas when his angle grinder came into contact with it, sparking an explosion that injured him seriously enough to require treatment at Birmingham Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s specialised burns unit for a period of two days.
The Health and Safety Executive made the decision to launch an investigation into the gas explosion, discovering that the man’s employer had neglected to carry out an exceedingly simple check that would have ensured that it would have been safe to remove the gas pipes. As a result of its failure, the West Yorkshire firm was given a fine of £10,000 after it admitted to breaching health and safety regulations.
Birstall Demolition and Plant Services Ltd was also told to pay £4,256 in court costs in addition to the fine.