When working with, or around, high-pressure equipment, maintaining a constant focus on safety is crucial. Familiarity and complacency can lead to life-altering consequences, as Simon’s story illustrates.
Simon, a friend who I had worked with previously, was an experienced technician, had been working for a company for several years. His duties included pressure testing pipework and equipment up to 10,000 PSI to ensure they could safely contain pressurized fluids. Unfortunately, the routine nature of his job led to complacency and a disregard for established safety procedures.
One fateful day, Simon and a co-worker were conducting a water pressure test at 5,000 PSI when they noticed a drop in pressure on the gauge. This indicated a leak in the system. The safe procedure required them to release the pressure back to zero and then inspect the equipment for the leak. However, Simon chose to bypass this crucial step.
Ignoring the safe working procedure, he opened the test bay steel door and observed a water leak coming from a needle valve on the equipment. As Simon knelt beside the equipment to tighten the valve, it suddenly failed and blew off the equipment with a force close to 5,000 PSI propelling it.
The valve went through Simon’s knee and embedded itself into the test bay wall, leaving his knee shattered.
But Simon’s nightmare was far from over. Unable to work, he faced multiple surgeries on his knee, which took a massive toll on his mental health.
As he struggled to cope with the situation, Simon turned to drugs, eventually ending with him becoming an heroin addict as an escape from his pain. This downward spiral led to the disintegration of his marriage, police and social services interventions, and his daughter’s refusal to see him only deepened his despair.
Simon’s story is a stark reminder that pressure kills, and the reason we have safety procedures in place is to control these hazards effectively. His life was forever changed by his failure to follow procedures—a high price to pay for a moment of negligence.
Tragically, I was informed a few year later that Simon overdosed on heroin and became just another drug victim statistic.
Don’t become another Simon. Take the time to review and follow safety protocols, and never underestimate the dangers associated with any pressurized equipment.
Stay vigilant and prioritize safety above all else to ensure that you, your colleagues, and your loved ones are protected from preventable tragedies.
Working with pressure is one of the 75 online CPD courses we have available on our Safetyman Academy and available as part of our annual package for just £499 per year.
Be Inspired, Be Empowered – www.safetyman.academy
What happens when an accident don’t kill you, but it destroys you entire life! Read Simon’s story and learn from his mistake.
When working with, or around, high-pressure equipment, maintaining a constant focus on safety is crucial. Familiarity and complacency can lead to life-altering consequences, as Simon’s story illustrates. Simon, a friend who I had worked with previously, was an experienced technician, had been working for a company for several years. His duties included pressure testing pipework