Prosecution followed an accident to two employees who were burnt when flammable solvent fumes were ignited by an electric sander whilst removing paint from inside a confined space in a small yacht under repair.
An investigation showed the employer failed to:
There is a high potential for serious injury for those working in a confined space with flammable solvents.
The employer was prosecuted under The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 (No 3) paragraph 1 and The Confined Spaces Regulations 1997 (No 4) paragraph 2, and fined.
Work should not be done in a confined space if at all possible. If this is unavoidable, measures must be taken to ensure the workers are kept safe by
The use of electricity in potentially explosive atmospheres is covered on another page of the electrical safety website.
The downloadable HSE guidance Controlling the risks in the workplace provides guidance on how to select measures to control the risks in a wide range of work activities. The downloadable leaflet Controlling fire and explosion risks in the workplace provides guidance on how to identify potentially explosive atmospheres in your workplace.