Worcestershire firm fined £30,000 after worker lost both legs in 'battlefield-like' explosion

The vessel exploded in December 2011 Photo: HSE

A Worcestershire engineering firm has been fined £30,000 after a worker lost both of his legs in a factory explosion.

Filtration Service Engineering Ltd was also ordered to pay costs of £15,325 after pleading guilty at court.

51-year-old Clive Dainty, from Kidderminster, was working at the company as a 335-litre vessel which was being pressure tested, exploded.

The 335-litre vessel was being pressure tested Credit: HSE

Health and Safety Executive investigators found the quality of the welding on the vessel could have been tested by simply filling it with water, instead of compressed air.

Mr Dainty was in hospital for several months afterwards and had to have both legs amputated.

He also suffered head injuries and now has problems moving his arms, which were repaired using metal plates.

“The injuries sustained in this incident were more akin to those sustained on a battlefield.

"The vessel exploded like a bomb during the course of a normal working day, and everyone in the factory was at risk from the operation because no measures were put in place to protect them.

“Pneumatic testing is a dangerous activity and significant planning is required to ensure the risks are managed.

"The management of health and safety in this factory was woefully inadequate and simple measures could have been implemented to prevent the incident from happening.

– Ed Fryer, HSE Inspector