15 Aug 2016

Blowtorch fireball leads to $24,000 compensation

9:32 pm on 15 August 2016

A Waikato flooring company must pay $57,000 after a blowtorch turned glue fumes into a fireball and badly burned an employee.

Hamilton District Court

Hamilton District Court Photo: RNZ

Hamilton Flooring Limited pleaded guilty in Hamilton District Court over vinyl laying that went wrong in a Waikato Hospital bathroom a year ago.

The employee, who had been painting with a highly flammable adhesive while a coworker was using an LPG gas blow torch, sustained serious burns to his calves and right arm.

The company was ordered to pay him $24,000 and pay a fine of another $33,000.

WorkSafe said the company should have made sure there was no ignition source, that the bathroom was safely ventilated and that the workers had protective gear on.