A paint stripping firm in Staffordshire has been fined thousands of pounds after an employee suffered serious burns in an avoidable workplace accident.
The 24-year-old employee was working for Enviro-Strip (UK) Ltd in Tamworth at the time of the incident. He was using an industrial oven – generally used to strip paint from metal surfaces and with a maximum temperature of 400 degrees when he was burned by a flash fire from the open door of the equipment.
The worker suffered burns to his upper body, including his neck and face, and had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital. He was kept on a life support machine for several days following the incident.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident and found that the company had failed to check and use a safety device on the oven which would have stopped the door from opening once it reached a certain temperature.
For breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act and failing to include such safety measures as part of health and safety training, Enviro-Strip (UK) Ltd was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay court costs of £6,491.