Company fined after air pipe prank goes wrong.
A company run by a Midland man has been fined pounds 5,000 after a
prank went horribly wrong, leaving a worker with a perforated bowel. Mr
Philip Morgan, aged 39, had to undergo emergency surgery after one of
his workmates put a compressed air pipe next to his jeans and allowed 80
pounds per square inch of air pressure to shoot up his backside. His
injuries were so bad he had to have a colostomy bag fitted for four
months. Caerphilly Magistrates' Court heard yesterday that Mr
Morgan could have suffered worse injuries, even death, after the prank.
It happened at Welsh-based firm Conservatory Roof Systems, whose
managing director is Mr Terry Heazelgrave from Harborne Road, Oldbury,
in January last year. Dr Chantal Nicholls, representing the Health and
Safety Executive, which brought the prosecution, told the court that the
hoses had been incorrectly used at the firm for blowing dust off
workers' clothes. "The air hoses should have only been used
for blowing dust off clothing and components when fitted with a special
nozzle," she said. She said the HSE had brought the prosecution
because the company had failed to provide adequate supervision and had
unsafe equipment. Mr Robin Harvard, for the firm, said the
"horseplay" happened only when there was no supervisor on
duty. "This is the first time that the company has been before the
court," he said. The company, which admitted the charges, was
ordered to pay a pounds 5,000 fine as well as pounds 924 costs. Mr
Heazelgrave refused to comment about the court case.