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HSE prosecutes firm over burns incident

By February 2, 2015May 16th, 2017Fire

A Flintshire-based gardening company has been fined £23,000 after an employee suffered burns while using a cigarette lighter to set fire to a pile of giant hogweed doused with petrol.

Greenstripe Ltd was prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive after an investigation found the employee had been told by his manager to burn the waste vegetation.

Warrington Crown Court heard the 31-year-old from Poland, who has asked not to be named, had been working with the company’s operations manager in July 2013 to clear grass and giant hogweed from scrubland on Parkgate Road in Chester.

They returned to the site a few days later, on 2 August, when the employee was told to pour petrol from a can on the pile of waste hogweed before using a cigarette lighter to set it on fire.

As he did this, there was an explosion and he was thrown to the ground. The worker’s face, throat, body, arms and hands were burnt.

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