Rainham company fined after employees seriously burnt by fireball
- Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima
A family-run refrigeration business was fined £22,500 today after two employees were seriously injured in an explosion.
Jonathan Edwards and James Bellingham both suffered severe burns when they were engulfed in a fireball at the site of CLB Refrigeration in Ferry Lane, Rainham, on October 12 2012.
The company admitted two counts of breaching health and safety regulations following the incident, after which Mr Edwards spent five months in hospital recovering from 60 degree burns to his face and torso.
The company was given a £22,500 fine at Southwark Crown Court for failing to assess a risk and failure to eliminate and reduce a risk in contravention of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmosphere regulations.
Catherine Rabiotti, prosecuting, told the court that Mr Edwards, 30, had been a trainee at the company for two months when the incident happened.
He and Mr Bellingham, 23, were using paint thinner borrowed from another company, which came into contact with a brazier being used to burn waste.
Judge Martin Beddoe said: “Mr Edwards was very seriously injured – much more so than the other.
- 1 'Stop being so disgusting': Hornchurch mother's outrage at delivery drivers urinating on her house
- 2 Upminster bridal boutique gives back to frontline workers with £50 wedding dresses
- 3 Hornchurch Japanese restaurant rejects licensing officer's advice over late opening application
- 4 Knife seized in Hornchurch as part of neighbourhood patrol
- 5 Man found not guilty of attempted murder in Brentwood
- 6 Aldi given nod to open at former Mothercare branch in Romford
- 7 NHS staff protest mandatory vaccinations outside Queen's Hospital
- 8 WATCH: Man accelerates towards unconscious victim outside Sugar Hut
- 9 Car park killing: John Avers the 'best friend' of hitman, court hears
- 10 Romford's South Street reacts to BBC licence fee announcement
“The most probable explanation for the accident itself is that Mr Edwards, who had been a trainee for only two months, poured paint thinner onto that brazier.”
He added: “The defendant company fell far below what was required of it.
“This was a small company and it seems to me that smallness of it undermines the prospect that it had an excuse for its lack of involvement [in assessing the risk].”
Mr Edwards has not worked since the accident, the court was told.
The court heard that the company’s actions had not been the cause of the two men’s injuries.
It was also ordered to pay £9,243 in costs.