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Company in court after apprentice hit by pressurised hose

An engineering firm has been fined after one of its young apprentices sustained injuries when he was struck on the back by a pressurised hose.

What happened?

The 16-year-old, had been walking towards the pressure testing area to collect some equipment when he heard a loud noise coming from the hoses, which were being tested. Before he had a chance to move, a hose whipped up in the air and struck him on the back, knocking him to the ground.

He was rushed to hospital but made a full recovery and returned to work five days later.

An investigation into the incident found that a section of the hose hadn’t been tightened enough, and so broke free from its coupling.

The court heard that there had been failures like this in the past, but as they hadn’t resulted in an accident the management continued to allow workers to carry on testing the hoses in this way.

The pressure testing area of the workshop had been segregated using plastic tape; unfortunately this hadn’t been calculated at a safe distance to prevent injuries and the size of the testing area was left up to the individual doing the testing.

Additionally, the court heard that formal training hadn’t been provided for staff carrying out the testing.

What was the outcome?

Alfred Cheyne Engineering Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £10,000.

HSE Principal Inspector, Niall Miller, said:

“This incident could have easily been avoided if Alfred Cheyne Engineering
Ltd had carried out a risk assessment for the pressure testing of
hose assemblies, which would have identified the safety
measures required to reduce any risks.

“The need for pressure testing to be segregated from other work and for
employees not to be allowed to approach any equipment while it is
under pressure is well documented in guidance, which is
readily available.

“In this case the young apprentice was lucky to receive only cuts and
bruises, his injuries could have been a lot worse.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

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