Indorama Polymers Ltd has been fined £20,000 after pleading guilty to health and safety failures in which a man was badly burned.

The chemical company, pleaded guilty to breaching section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 following the accident which took place when David Lightfoot, a 58-year-old grandfather was carrying out welding work on a large container at its Workington site. The container held 380 tonnes of explosive powder Terephthalmic acid which ignited and became a fireball, leaving Mr Lightfoot with severe burns which have left him with permanent scarring.

Michael Griffiths, investigating officer at HSE said that the accident had been preventable and added that chemical companies should make health and safety a top priority to avoid the risk of terrible injuries occurring.

He said: “Indorama Polymers should have planned the work properly in advance. Either the welding should have been carried out before the hole was drilled into the vessel, or the explosive powder in that part of the vessel should have been removed before the welding started.”