Petroineos Manufacturing Scotland Ltd of Grangemouth Oil Refinery has been fined £24,000 by Falkirk Sheriff Court for safety failings back in October 2012, which led to an onsite worker being injured while cleaning a vent pipe.
The Grangemounth-based firm admitted contravening Regulation 12(1) of The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and Section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Upon opening a vent valve, the Petroineos worker, was sprayed in the face by low-pressure steam. Whilst said employee was wearing regulation protective equipment including safety glasses, was disorientated, suffered blurred vision and was left with a small scar on his forehead. He also stayed one night in hospital and required six weeks of follow up treatment.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation followed and it was shown that Petroineos' risk assessment process was flawed in that it failed to identify the potential discharge of steam from the vent.
During the case at Falkirk Sheriff Court, it was stated that basic safety steps could have been taken, which would have eliminated the hazard.
Commenting on the court's decision, Christina Woodrow, who is an HSE Inspector, stated:
"This incident emphasises the need for employers to assess the risks from routine tasks in the location they will be carried out and to ensure where practicable that risks from emissions are controlled at source other than relying on personal protective equipment.
"Employers should not assume that when a procedure is carried out without incident that it is safe only a rigorous approach to hazard identification and risk assessment will ensure this."
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