NHS Trust fined after worker suffered steam burns

Fines were issued after worker suffered serious burns  at Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (KGH), where an employee received serious burns whilst stripping down a steam boiler.

On 5 November 2012, a maintenance worker at KGH was stripping down a steam boiler for periodic examination, when he received serious steam burn injuries to the lower half of his body.

The worker received his injuries whilst removing the crown valve from one of the steam boilers. The system only had a single point of isolation, instead of two, and this single point did not prevent steam leaking back into the section of the system he was working on.

The Court heard KGH had no system for assessing and controlling risks their employees were exposed to. The Trust did not know what training their maintenance employees had received and they were not under suitable supervision whilst working there.

The NHS Foundation Trust of Rothwell Road, Kettering, appeared at Northampton Magistrates’ Court and was fined £7,000 with full costs of £1,926 and a victim surcharge of £15 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

More information about safe management of industrial steam and hot water boilers can be found on the HSE website.

Please view our How To Monitor Water Temperatures safety video.