Man burned by hot oil in accident at work

A Lincolnshire firm that manufactures frozen potato products has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a man was burned by hot oil in an accident at work.

Harvey Hopwood, 62, from Melton Mowbray, was working for PAS (Grantham) Ltd when he sustained 10% burns to his shoulder, upper arms, neck and back whilst overseeing the jet washing of large oil storage tanks in November 2012.

Mr Hopwood climbed between the guard rails on the gantry at the top of the tank to check how work was progressing. As he was doing so, he knocked a pipe connected to a pressure gauge, which came off and released oil that was over 160 degrees Celsius in temperature.

The oil spilled over his upper body causing horrific injuries and leaving Mr Hopwood unable to work for over a month.

Mr Hopwood has since left the company.

The resulting HSE investigation revealed that Mr Hopwood’s employers had failed to carry out a risk assessment for the cleaning operation.  They had, instead, decided to carry out the work first and then write the risk assessment retrospectively.

Melanie Lidstone- Land, specialist personal injury lawyer at Swain & Co says, “Risk assessments are carried out to ensure that risks associated with a certain task are considered before the work is undertaken and steps are put in place to mitigate against those anticipated risks to keep employees safe.”

“To carry out the work first and then write the assessment is wrong and fails to protect people as has been demonstrated in this case.”

Melanie explains, “This accident at work was entirely preventable had the risk assessment been carried out before the cleaning took place.  Mr Hopwood will have to live with the physical scars of his injuries for the rest of his life.”

Everyone has the right to go to work and return home from work unharmed.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case and accidents at work happen.

Melanie and the personal injury team are there to help you and your family.

We act on a no win no fee basis and offer free initial advice to discuss the possibility of making a claim for compensation against your employer.

So call Melanie for free on 0800 0351 999