A firm has been ordered to pay nearly £30,000 in costs after a series of incidents which included unsafely transporting gas through Aylesbury.
The incidents culminated in a worker suffering life-changing burns when the the LPG vessel ignited in a separate incident in Worcestershire a month after it was moved out of Aylesbury.
The vessel in question was moved from an unknown location in the town to Two Shires Road, Honeybourne, on 11 May 2016, while containing hundreds of litres of LPG (liquified petroleum gas).
The Health and Safety Executive said that the vessel was not an approved container for transportation of such a large quantity of LPG and that this delivery posed a significant risk of fire and explosion on a public highway.
Worcester Magistrates’ Court heard that on 8 June 2016 the same unsecured LPG vessel was being manoeuvred by an employee of S & E LPG Limited when it struck another vessel, resulting in the release of the gas at high pressure which then caught fire.
The employee was then caught by the flames and according to inspectors ‘could easily have been killed.’
The fire spread to other vessels stored nearby, destroyed a workshop 10 metres away and lasted more than 24 hours.
An investigation by HSE into the offence found empty LPG vessels had not been stored correctly, on and before the date of the incident, and still had a fire and explosion risk and that well-established industry standards were not followed.
HSE also found that S & E LPG Limited of Two Shires Road, Honeybourne, Evesham, Worcestershire pleaded guilty of breaching Regulation 5 of The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009 and Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The company has been fined £26,600 and ordered to pay costs of £3550.90.
Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Wai-Kin Liu said: “The worker’s injuries were life changing and he could have easily been killed.
“This serious incident and devastation could have been avoided if well-established industry standards had been put in place.”