Radiation burns: company fined

Mistras ETS Ltd has been fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £6930 costs after pleading guilty at Teesside Crown Court to breaching s.2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974 after one of its workers suffered radiation burns while carrying out tests on safety equipment. The company also admitted breaching regulation 11(1) of the Ionising Radiation Regulations 1999.

The court heard how on 19 September 2012, the employee, who has asked not to be named, was working with X-ray equipment in a radiation bay (a designated danger area) when a separate team was asked to test safety equipment and warning beams that also required the use of the X-ray equipment. The other team devised an ad hoc test method that involved turning off safety access controls and warning alarms for the radiography bays. During one test, the injured worker remained in a radiation bay while the X-ray was energised. He suffered severe tissue damage to three fingers of his right hand during the incident.

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