Food manufacturer fined after worker burned by oil

hselogo300A Lincolnshire firm that manufactures frozen potato products has been fined after a worker was burned by hot oil.

Harvey Hopwood, the health and safety manager at PAS (Grantham) Ltd, sustained 10 per cent burns to his shoulder, upper arms, neck and back while he was overseeing the jet washing of a large oil storage tank at the Easton-based company in November 2012.

Grantham Magistrates’ Court heard that he climbed between the guard rails on the gantry at the top of the tank to check how the work was progressing. As he did so he knocked a pipe connected to a pressure gauge, which came off and released oil over 160 degrees Celsius in temperature over his upper body.

Mr Hopwood was off work for over a month before later leaving the company.

An investigation by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to carry out a risk assessment for the cleaning operation, and instead decided to do the work first and write it retrospectively.

PAS (Grantham) Ltd, of Easton, was fined £16,500 and ordered to pay £571 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.

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About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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