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Playing About - [Other case studies]

A young apprentice had recently started working at a garage which specialised in repairing car bodywork. He was asked to clean up the area with a hose and "accidentally on purpose" sprayed another employee with water. Some of the workers then started playing around with sprays and the apprentice became covered in solvents. When he later stopped work and went for a cigarette break outside, his overalls caught fire resulting in burns to his body and hands.

Who was to blame?

His overalls caught fire resulting in burns to his body and hands.

The apprentice?
Partly, for playing around, although he only sprayed water.

The other workers?
YES - They were all more experienced and had received Health and Safety training. They all knew the solvents were flammable and dangerous.

The employer?
NO - The employer was found to have a good Health and Safety policy and procedures and had evidence of the workers receiving Health and Safety training.

What happened next?

The employer
"I've sacked both of the workers. I've also reviewed our risk assessments and health and safety procedures and involved the entire workforce in a training update. The apprentice has suffered a lot so I'll keep him on".

The other workers
"It was the stupidest thing we ever did. He was just getting a bit cocky for his own good. We've lost our jobs but he'll be scarred for life. We're lucky he's not suing us".

The apprentice
"It's not fair, I only sprayed a bit of water. It'll be ages before I can hold a spanner again. I'm lucky though that the boss will give me a second chance".


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