Gas company fined after workers suffer severe burns in quarry explosion
A gas company has been ordered to pay a total of £136,000 in fines and costs for safety failings after two workers suffered severe burns in an explosion at a North Somerset quarry.
Kevin Bates and Graham Crouch were inspecting LPG gas tanks at Stancombe Quarry, Flax Bourton, when they were caught in a flashover explosion triggered by a gas leak in June 2010.
Mr Crouch, 48, of Hampshire, suffered 22 per cent burns to his hands, face and chest and was in hospital for nine weeks, while Mr Bates, 54, of Oxfordshire suffered lesser burns to his face and hands.
Calor Gas, who employed Mr Crouch and contracted Mr Bates for the job, appeared before North Somerset Magistrates yesterday in proceedings brought by the Health and Safety Executive.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
The court heard the men were carrying out a routine inspection of a large industrial tank at the quarry, using specialised equipment on the back of a converted lorry to remove residual gas.
But a pressure relief valve was left partly covered by a tarpaulin, which allowed gas to build up and explode.
Calor Gas Ltd, of Warwick, admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act by failing to give clear instructions or sufficiently detailed training for using the equipment.