What happens when an accident doesn’t kill you, but it destroys your entire life! Read Simon’s story and learn from his mistake.
Safety should always be at the forefront when working with or around high-pressure equipment. Familiarity and complacency can lead to severe consequences, as demonstrated by the tragic story of Simon, a former colleague of mine.
Simon, an experienced technician, had been pressure testing pipework and equipment up to 10,000 PSI for several years. His routine job, however, led to complacency and a disregard for established safety procedures.
One day, while Simon and a co-worker were conducting a water pressure test at 5,000 PSI, they noticed a drop in pressure. This signalled a leak in the system. The established safety procedure required them to release the pressure and inspect the equipment for leaks. Ignoring this crucial safety measure, Simon proceeded to open the steel door to the testing bay.
Upon identifying a leak from a needle valve on the equipment, Simon, foregoing safety, knelt down to tighten it. The valve failed, releasing a blast of nearly 5,000 PSI. The force sent the valve through Simon’s knee and into the wall of the test bay, leaving him with a shattered knee.
But Simon’s ordeal didn’t end there. Unable to work, he underwent numerous knee surgeries, which took a significant toll on his mental health. He turned to drugs to escape his pain, eventually becoming a heroin addict. This addiction led to the breakdown of his marriage, intervention by police and social services, and the alienation of his daughter, pushing him further into despair.
A few years later, I learned that Simon had overdosed on heroin, becoming another victim of drug abuse.
Simon’s story serves as a chilling reminder of the lethal dangers of high-pressure equipment. Safety procedures are in place to control these hazards. His life-altering negligence underscores the importance of adhering to safety protocols.
Don’t become another Simon. Review and adhere to safety protocols. Never underestimate the dangers associated with pressurized equipment. Stay vigilant and prioritize safety to protect yourself, your colleagues, and your loved ones from preventable tragedies.
Working safely with pressure is one of the over 80 online CPD courses we offer at Safetyman Academy. These courses are included in our annual package for just £750 per year.
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