A Norfolk engineering firm has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), after a teenage welder suffered serious burns in a work accident.
Moughton Engineering, of Faraday Road, in Great Yarmouth, was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay court costs totalling £4,846.80, after apprentice welder Jack Amey, from Caister-on-Sea, who was just seventeen years old at the time of the accident, suffered serious facial burns.
Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court, was told that Mr. Amey was removing burn marks from a stainless steel tank, at the companies factory on the Gapton Hall industrial estate, using a cleaning substance known as ‘pickling paste’, which he had been instructed to apply by an older member of staff.
However an investigation by the HSE revealed that Mr. Amey was unaware of the harmful nature of the paste and had been left unsupervised, when the tub of paste he was using slipped out of his hand causing some of the contents to come into contact with his face.
He suffered severe chemical burns as a result, as pickling paste contains a strong combination of acids. Fortunately his wounds healed very well with no visible scarring or long term effects.
Speaking after the hearing a HSE inspector stated that Moughton Engineering had been fully aware of the hazardous nature of the cleaning agent and had actually banned its use at the factory but unfortunately failed to enforce the ban.