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NEWS: HSL served Crown Improvement Notice

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A regulatory investigation into an incident at HSE’s Buxton site has been reported as ‘ongoing’ after an employee suffered burns while setting up an experiment.


The Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) has been issued with a Crown Improvement Notice following the incident, which occurred in October 2016.

The notice says that HSL had failed to take measures to prevent a person using equipment to proof and leak test the hydrogen line and test tank being exposed to any risk to their safety from hazards including the “rupture of work equipment and unintended discharge of any article or any gas or liquid”.

According to HSE’s 2016/17 annual report, a Notification of Contravention was issued in April 2017 detailing four areas for further improvement.

All areas have been identified through the internal investigation, says the report. HSE has also set up a health and safety ‘task and finish’ group to take forward lessons learnt as part of the improvement actions.

An HSE spokesperson commented: “In line with our spirit of continuous improvement, and learning from experience, HSE carried out a thorough internal investigation to establish the immediate and root causes of the incident.

“We identified areas where we could strengthen our operational practices, and have subsequently been working with both our science and engineering practitioners and our corporate health and safety experts to implement recommended improvements.”

The colleague, who suffered burns while setting up an experimental test rig, is back at work and the regulatory investigation is ongoing, they added.

HSL in Buxton in Derbyshire employs 350 scientific, medical and technical specialists. Their work includes bespoke testing for high hazard industry sectors including oil & gas, nuclear and energy industries.

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