A Widnes firm has been fined after an employee suffered serious personal injury, following a chemical tank explosion in Cheshire.
The forty four year old employee, who has not been named, was working for Hutchinson Technical Services (HTS) Ltd and was carrying out maintenance work on a chemical storage tank, at a plant in Widnes.
Runcorn Magistrates’ Court heard that the worker from Bala, in North Wales, was working on top of the tank when the chemical vapours inside ignited and caused an explosion.
The force of the explosion blasted the man off the tank and sent him plummeting almost two and a half metres to the ground below, knocking him unconscious and causing serious burn injuries to his right arm and leg, as well as severe bruising to his ribs.
His injuries were so severe, that he was not able to return to work for a period of several weeks.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) immediately issued the company a prohibition notice, which prevented employees working on top of the chemical tanks without the appropriate protective equipment.
Hutchinson Technical Services Ltd was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay a total of £3,588 in court costs, after admitting a breach of Work at Height Regulations.