Car mechanic suffers burn injuries in explosion at work

Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 21 Jan 2013:

One car mechanic from Cumbria suffered serious burns in an explosion at work, according to personal injury solicitor experts familiar with the case.

The Windermere native, a twenty six year old man who has not had his identity shared with the public, had been caught in an explosion as he was in the middle of cutting off the lid of an oil drum with a propane torch. The man, whose one of his roles as a mechanic at the Wendermere Auto Centre was to prepare empty oil drums to store scrap metal by removing the tops of these drums, was caught in the explosion when the oil drum he was cutting into turned out to not be completely empty, leaving him with serious burn injuries to both of his arms.

The garage owners, Windermere-based Kankku Ltd, was taken to court by the Health and Safety Executive after HSE inspectors found that the firm neglected to undertake any sort of risk assessment when it came down to using an open flame to cut the tops off of containers that used to hold flammable materials. Kankku Ltd was also accused of not doing enough to minimise potential harm to their own employees – as evidenced by the five-day hospital stay for the unfortunate mechanic with two badly burned arms.

The garage owners knew they had a losing ticket and decided to ultimately pleaded guilty to breaching regulations concerning dangerous substances and explosive atmospheres. The results were a £500 personal injury compensation to be paid to the injured worker, a £6,000 fine, and an additional £4,746 in court costs and legal fees.

There was no word on whether the garage would switch to less flammable methods of cutting the tops off of old, possibly still full oil drums, but one can hope that they’ve learnt a very valuable lesson – one that most of us learn in grade school – that fire and oil don’t mix very well.

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