Engineer died when pipe exploded

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A jury has raised several health and safety concerns over the death of a Tempsford man.

Mark Seward was killed in May last year when a cylinder he was testing exploded. He was hit on the head by debris and died a few hours later in hospital.

Mr Seward, of Station Road, Tempsford, was working as an engineer at AGD Equipment Ltd in Stratford-upon-Avon when the accident happened on May 27 last year. He had only been there three weeks.

A jury sittting at Stratford Coroners last week, ruled his death had been accidental but raised several concerns.

Mr Seward, aged 49, was using a portable Enerpac pump to test a cylinder for an oil leak on the day he died the inquest heard.

The pump had a pressure gauge measuring in mega pascals (MPa) which Jamie Davies, an expert witness for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), said was not commonly used in the UK where pressure is measured in Bar or PSI.

At 11.19am the valve block on the cylinder fractured due to excessive pressure, causing an explosion of metal and debris.

Mr Seward, a father-of-two, who was crouching near to the cylinder was not wearing protective headgear and was hit by the flying debris.

First aid was administered at the scene and he was taken by air ambulance to Coventry University College but died at 2.35pm the same day.

After delivering its verdict the jury also raised several issues, including that there were no clear labels on the controls of the pump and no instruction manual.

They said the pump was capable of delivering pressures more than three times greater than the normal operating pressure of the cylinder and that there had been no specific risk assessment or method statement for the task being completed by Mr Seward.