After one of its employees filed a work accident claim due to an incident where he lost consciousness from a dose of nitrogen gas, on e re-cycling firm faces a £13,000 fine.
Birmingham native Stephen Barnes was operating a machine that disassembles refrigerators as a part of the re-cycling process. In order to minimise the potential of explosions during the procedure, the machine Mr Barnes was operating uses nitrogen gas.
When a refrigerator became lodged within the machine, Mr Barnes received a dose of nitrogen upon his climbing into a chute to clear the blockage. Overcome by the gas, Mr Barnes lost consciousness and was rushed to hospital after colleagues rescued him. As a result of the incident Mr Barnes underwent treatment for gas inhalation while in hospital.
Upon the Health and Safety Executive’s inspection of the Ovterton Recycling facility, located in the West Midlands town of Lye, it determined that the firm had neglected to carry out a proper risk asessment. They determined that Overton Recycling failed to identify the dangers its workers faced when climbing into a confined space such as Mr Barnes did. Moreover the re-cycling firm neglected to assess the nitrogen levels present in the refrigerator breakdown machinery’s chute.
After it admitted it had breached both the Management of Health and Safety Regulations and the Confined Spaces Regulations, the company now faces fines of £13,000, with an additional £6,107 in costs as well.
Mr Barnes has made a full physical recovery after taking three days off of work, but since the incident he has suffered occasional mood swings, sleepless nights, and flashbacks. At this time, there is no information as to whether Mr Barnes is seeking personal injury compensation as a result of his accident claim.