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Gloucestershire Business News

Gloucestershire company fined £1million after explosion injures workers

A car and commercial vehicle component manufacturer has been fined a million pounds after two workers were burnt while while cleaning a distillation tank.

The vapour of a flammable chemical, which was being used at Stonehouse-based Delphi Diesel Systems Ltd to clean the distillation tank part of a component washer, ignited and caused an explosion.

Both employees suffered significant burn injuries, with one employee's injuries being so serious they could not return to work for over two months, Cheltenham Magistrates were told on July 11.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that no risk assessment had been undertaken for the procedure of cleaning the distillation tank and that no safe system of work had been put in place.

The investigation also found that no planning had been undertaken for the use of the flammable chemical during the cleaning activity.

The company, of Brunel Way, Stroudwater Business Park, Stonehouse, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £1,000,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,374.

Speaking after the case HSE principal inspector Paul Thompson said "Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe systems of work, and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in those systems, as well as the substances they use.

"If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the injuries suffered by the employees could have been prevented"

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