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Mould release chemical explosion burned worker

Vehicle seat manufacturer Sears Manufacturing Company (Europe) must pay more than £52,000 after an explosion at its site in Ebbw Vale, Wales, injured an operator. 

The explosion occurred on 26 January 2015 when a highly flammable release agent – a chemical used by the company to prevent dispensed foam from sticking to the seat mould – ignited. The victim sustained burns to his head and hands.

At Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court on 22 April, the company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 5, 6 and 9 of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002. These regulations cover adequate risk assessments, eliminating or reducing risks from dangerous substances, and providing information, instruction and training. 

Sears Manufacturing was fined £40,000 plus £12,010 in costs.    


Keeley Downey was the former assistant editor of IOSH Magazine. Previously she was editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine

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