Lead firm ordered to pay out £23,256

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A LEAD-SMELTING company has been ordered to pay out more than £23,256 after two men were left injured in separate incidents, including one suffering burns following an explosion of molten metal.

HJ Enthoven, at South Darley, was ordered to pay out the hefty sum after being prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The first incident happened in August 2009 when a 43-year-old worker was transporting molten lead slag, with a temperature of more than 800 degrees celsius, on a fork lift truck.

The pan holding the molten material fell off the truck, spilling the liquid on to the ground where it ran into a drain.

During the HSE prosecution, North East Derbyshire and Dales Magistrates’ Court heard that as soon as the molten liquid came into contact with water it exploded, sending a number of heavy drain covers several metres into the air. The man jumped from the forklift to try and escape but fell onto the molten slag.

He suffered severe burns to his face, arms, chest, back and left foot which needed months of treatment though he has since returned to work at the company.

The second incident happened in May 2010 when an employee of Key Engineering Ltd was investigating a fault on an overhead travelling crane.

A 27-year-old worker was on the crane gantry and while testing it, his arm became trapped.

The man suffered severe crush injuries, had to have four plates in his right arm along with a number of skin grafts and he suffered tendon damage. It is not known if he will regain full use of his arm.

A subsequent HSE investigation found neither company had carried out sufficient risk assessment and HJ Enthoven had failed to inform Key Engineering about the narrow gap.

Key Engineering Ltd, based in Chesterfield, pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety laws and was fined £5,000 with costs of £2,305.

HJ Enthoven Ltd, also pleaded guilty and was fined £5,000. The company was also fined £10,000 for the incident which led to the explosion, and total costs of £8,256.