A garage in Windermere has been fined after an oil drum explosion injured a mechanic.
The 26 year old mechanic was trying to remove the lid of the oil drum so that it could be used to store scrap pieces of metal. To remove the lid he was using a propane torch.
However, the propane torch accidentally ignited the vapours in the drum and the small amount of oil that was left inside. This caused an explosion, and resulted in the man suffering burn injuries. His hands and arms were so badly burned in the incident that he had to spend five days in hospital receiving treatment.
At Kendal Magistrates’ Court recently, the owners of the garage (Kankku Ltd) admitted to breaking the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations. The court heard that garage employees regularly used a propane torch to cut the tops of oil drums so that they could be used for other purposes.
It was concluded that the firm did not properly consider the risks of using the propane torch for this task and the possibility of the fumes igniting.
The North West Evening Mail reports that Kankku Ltd were given a fine of £6,000 and made to pay the mechanic compensation for his injuries