PIPE manufacturer Thames Cryogenics, based in Didcot, has been fined after a welder was seriously injured at work.

The specialist manufacturer of vessels to carry liquid nitrogen and liquid oxygen has been fined £5,000.

An employee was in hospital for a week and needed skin grafts after seriously burning his left leg at work on January 23, 2012. It left him reliant on painkillers for months.

The 38-year-old from Oxford, who did not want to be named, was burned after using acetone to quench a hot piece of metal. The open bowl ignited, spilling onto and through his trousers as he attempted to move the container outside. An investigation discovered that the degreasing agent had been used to cool items before – despite the fact it is highly flammable.

Thames Cryogenics, of Gooch Drive, Didcot, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £4,500 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.