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Roadmarking firm fined for worker’s burns

Date:
9 October 2014

A roadworker suffered minor burns when a road marking vehicle caught fire and exploded in Bristol, a court has heard.

Neil Higgins from Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire was laying road markings with a team at Imperial Park, Hartcliffe, on 25 June 2013 when the explosion happened, causing him to suffer burns.

The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which prosecuted Redland Road Marking Ltd at Bristol Magistrates Court yesterday (8 October).

HSE’s investigation found that gas-heated cauldrons on top of the vehicle were unsuitable for the work because the pipework was not properly connected and the equipment had no flame failure devices. In addition, the pipework had not been fitted by a competent person.

Mr Higgins’ employer, Redland Road Marking Ltd, of Hillside Road, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching work equipment regulations and was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £1,123 in costs.

HSE Principal Inspector Helena Tinton, speaking after the hearing, said: “This is not the first time there has been a fire of this nature on a road marking vehicle and the operators need to ensure that the equipment has been installed by a competent person and regularly maintained. It is a matter of good fortune that nobody died as a result of this incident.”

Further information about working safely with equipment can be found on the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/puwer.htm

Notes to Editors

  1.  The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. Regulation 4(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 states: “Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is so constructed or adapted as to be suitable for the purpose for which it is used or provided.”
  3. HSE news releases are available at www.hse.gov.uk/press.

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