Health and Safety News

Occupational health and safety news and guidance

Packaging company fine for fireball that caused life-threatening injuries in Cumbria

Innovia Films Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following an investigation into the cause of a fire at the plant on Station Road in Wigton on 13 September 2006.

Gordon Metcalf, 62 from Maryport, and another worker, were about to clean debris from a damaged fuse box when a ball of fire shot out, setting their clothes alight, reports the HSE - a suitable risk assessment had not been carried out for the work, and management at the company had allowed the work to go ahead without the electricity supply being isolated.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by putting workers' lives at risk. The company was ordered to pay £26,790 towards the cost of the prosecution in addition to the fine of £90,000 on 18 July 2011.

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