Fireball engulfs manís head

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Fireball engulfs manís head

15th November 2010

A man who was carrying out welding work on a chemical silo received horrific burns when a fireball engulfed his head.

The man was working on a silo which contained 380 tonnes of the highly inflammable chemical Terephthalic acid, a raw material used in the plastics industry.

Karl Tonks, a work accident specialist at Fentons Solicitors LLP, said: "This incident - in which flames were shot into the man's face the second he began welding - demonstrates the fundamental need for the adherence to safety procedures when working with highly volatile chemicals."

Indorama Polymers, the firm responsible for on-site safety, has admitted liability for the incident, which left the 58-year-old victim permanently scarred.

"It is incredibly fortunate the man's colleagues were on hand to provide immediate assistance in putting out the flames and dousing his face with water," said Karl, a partner with the firm.

The victim, who was spared any initial pain due to his body going into shock, remained in hospital for two-and-a-half weeks in agony with his severely burnt face swollen to the size of a pumpkin.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution hearing is currently underway to determine what level of punitive damages the Workington-based company should face.

"This shocking incident was entirely preventable," said Karl. "With over 350 tonnes of highly hazardous materials on site, health and safety should have been paramount. Work involving chemicals of this nature should always be meticulously planned in advance, with the inherent dangers identified and the correct safety and emergency procedures and equipment in place. It is crucial this investigation delivers valuable lessons to ensure these kinds of accident cannot be allowed to recur."

How can Fentons help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of†accidents in the workplace.

If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.

Source - Mail