13 March 2020

A Sheffield manufacturing company recently received a hefty fine following an employee fatality from an equipment malfunction. The employee was leak testing several 1500-litre cylinders by applying compressed air inside each cylinder to generate pressure. While venting air through the manifold, the testing equipment catastrophically failed. In this process, the employee was killed by ejected shrapnel.

Further investigation revealed that the manifold had been contaminated by an oil-based corrosion inhibitor, generating enough pressure to ignite and cause the testing equipment to fail. As a result, the company was fined £700,000 with full costs of £169,498.82.

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