Burn incident sees paint manufacturer fined $75K

Tuesday, 10 December, 2019

Burn incident sees paint manufacturer fined $75K

A paint mixing and manufacturing company has been fined $75,750 and ordered to provide essential safety training to key staff after a worker was severely burnt while cleaning. MMP Industrial was penalised for two breaches of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, according to SafeWork New South Wales (SafeWork NSW). The company was ordered to have the general managers and work health and safety officer undertake safety training in due diligence, hazardous substances and electrical compliance in hazardous areas, Tony Williams, SafeWork NSW Executive Director, Operations, said.

“These training orders are significant as the judge recognised that a basic lack of safety awareness was what led to an ultimately avoidable situation,” Williams said. “The company was also ordered to develop a work health and safety plan that directs senior staff to implement the lessons learned through training in the workplace.” The worker was using acetone to clean a paint-mixing vat when a static electrical charge caused the vapours to ignite, SafeWork NSW said. The worker was standing half a metre from the vat when the explosion occurred and the incident was not reported to SafeWork NSW for a week, the regulator said.

“The risk was foreseeable and straightforward control measures could have been used to prevent the incident,” Williams said, suggesting the company could have installed antistatic wheels on mixing vats and prevented acetone splash by “decanting the hose on the side, reducing the flow rate on the hose and installing a switch that requires two people to operate the hose”. Most importantly, the company needs to provide “comprehensive risk management training to all workers and senior staff”, Williams said.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/sudok1

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