Manufacturing News

Diamond Powder Coaters fined over fatal 2010 workplace explosion

 

Perth Magistrates Court has found that Diamond Powder Coaters, a Welshpool-based company, did not provide a safe workplace, and this led to the death of a worker using an angle grinder in 2010.

DPC was fined $85,000 and pleaded guilty. 

The drum had formerly contained methylated spirits, and exploded after fumes were ignited by a spark created by the grinder. The drum was reportedly thrown 20 metres by the blast.

"Angle grinders, oxy torches or any other heat-producing equipment should not be used to cut metal drums that have contained flammable or combustible liquids or gases, or when there is any doubt about the previous contents of the drum," said WorkSafe SA commissioner Lex McCulloch, in comments reported by AAP.

"The rule of thumb is that if you don't know what has been in the drum or tank, assume it has contained an explosive substance and have it recycled by a specialist cleaning company.

"This is neither an expensive nor inconvenient process, and it could well save someone's life."

 

Image: wstoollibrary.org 

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