KGH fined after maintenance worker suffered serious burns

GV of Kettering General Hospital (KGH) NNL-140703-114637001
GV of Kettering General Hospital (KGH) NNL-140703-114637001

Kettering General Hospital has been fined after an employee received serious burns while stripping down a steam boiler.

Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has since apologised to the maintenance worker and made changes following the incident, which happened on November 5, 2012.

We have apologised to the member of staff involved for the injuries he sustained while working in this environment.

Geoff Badger

Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive, Northampton Magistrates Court heard how the worker at the hospital was stripping down a steam boiler for periodic examination when he suffered serious steam burn injuries to the lower half of his body.

He received his injuries while removing the crown valve from one of the steam boilers.

The system only had a single point of isolation, instead of two, and this single point did not prevent steam leaking back into the section of the system he was working on.

The court heard the hospital had no system for assessing and controlling risks their employees were exposed to.

The trust did not know what training their maintenance employees had received and they were not under suitable supervision while working there.

The NHS Foundation Trust, of Rothwell Road, Kettering, appeared at court last month and was fined £7,000 with full costs of £1,926 and a victim surcharge of £15 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Following the outcome of the hearing, acting director of estates and facilities for the hospital, Geoff Badger, said: “The trust deeply regrets that at the time of this incident in 2012 it did not have adequate systems of work in its boiler house.

“We have apologised to the member of staff involved for the injuries he sustained while working in this environment.

“While he is now back at work we do deeply regret the impact of the incident on him and his family.

“We have fully co-operated with a Health and Safety Executive throughout their investigation into this incident and taken a number of actions to address the issues raised.

“These have included decommissioning the trust’s old boiler system and installing a temporary boiler plant and we are investing in a new boiler system and associated infrastructure to be completed by late summer 2016.

“We have also invested in additional estates staff and strengthened our staff training activities.”