THIS is the terrifying moment when an oil drum exploded and left an Ipswich man unconscious for five days and suffering from severe injuries.

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A MoT test centre has been fined £40,000 over health and safety offences after an oil drum exploded leaving a worker with serious injuries.

CVS (Anglia) Ltd, of Holywells Road, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to failure to discharge the duty to an employee under the Health and Safety at Work Act and failing to make suitable and efficient assessment of risks.

A third alleged offence relating to the provision of adequate health and safety was dropped at yesterday’s hearing at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court.

Magistrates ordered the company to pay fines of £20,000 for each of the two charges. They were also ordered to pay the court costs £16,963.

The CCTV footage of the incident, shown above, was played in court to magistrates.

The case came to court following an explosion at CVS’ premises on November 24, 2011, when employee Findlay Gavin attempted to cut through an old oil drum using an oxy-acetylene torch – used for welding and cutting.

Mr Gavin, who was 30 at the time of the incident, was left suffering from serious injuries, with the explosion causing his nose and many of the bones in his face to break. The impact broke the goggles he was wearing and left him unconscious. He woke up five days after the accident.

Pascal Bates, for the borough council, said Mr Gavin had been asked to cut an oil drum – which would then be used as an incinerator – by a colleague. The head of the company had given permission for the drum to be used but had not been asked whether the relevant equipment (the torch) could be used by members of staff who hadn’t gone through “adequate training”.

Geraint Webb, for CSV Anglia, said the incident had a “profound effect” on Mark Howes, the joint director of the company, and his wife.

Mr Howes said: “The company deeply regrets the incident after 40 years of being in the business without injuries to any of its workers or any previous health and safety breaches.”

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