Paint stripping worker considers work accident claim

One Staffordshire paint stripping firm employee may be considering a work accident claim after suffering serious burns in a flash fire at the Wilnecote plant where he was employed.

The twenty four year old employee, who has asked for his name to be withheld from the media, had been working for the UK division of Enviro-Strip Ltd in Tamworth when he suffered the injuries that may lead to a personal injury claim.  The worker was burned when the door to an industrial oven was opened, causing a flash fire.

The unnamed man sustained severe burns to his upper body, neck, and face as the flames exploded from the oven’s interior.  The oven, used to scour paint from metal through intense heat, can reach temperatures of up to 400 degrees – easily hot enough to cause injuries that could lead to an accident claim.

The twenty four year old’s injuries were so severe that he was airlifted to hospital and placed in a medically induced coma to facilitate the healing process.  As a result he needed to be placed on a life support machine for several days.

The Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation into the incident, revealing that a safety device designed to prevent the opening of the oven door when the temperature exceeded 260° had been bypassed intentionally.

Following a successful prosecution of the man’s employer by the HSE, Enviro-Strip Ltd appeared at Burton-on-Trent Magistrates’ Court where they were fined £20,000 for their role in the incident.  The firm was also ordered to pay costs of £6,491 after they entered a plea of guilty to being in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The likelihood of the unnamed worker making a successful work accident claim against his former employer is high due to the nature and severity of the injuries he sustained in the flash fire, sources say.

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