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Charges dropped against three out of five firms linked to fatal legionella outbreak

Charges brought against three companies after a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Scotland in 2012 have been dropped.

 The case against whisky producer North British Distillery, legionella risk assessment service provider Pera Services and water management firm Chemtech Consultancy has ended after not guilty pleas were accepted.
 
As IOSH Magazine reported last December, the three companies, as well as MacFarlan Smith, a pharmaceutical research company, and Ashland Industries, a chemicals wholesaler, were all charged under the Health and Safety at Work Act for failing to control the risk of exposure to legionella bacteria. 
 
Four people died and a further 92 were infected during the outbreak in Edinburgh.
 
The source of the disease was never identified, however the Health and Safety Executive served two improvement notices on MacFarlan Smith to thoroughly clean one of its cooling towers at its site on Wheatfield Road, Gorgie, and to provide access for inspection and maintenance. 
 
The case against MacFarlan Smith and Ashland Industries continues and a hearing has been scheduled for 30 July. Both companies maintained their not guilty pleas.

 

 

Keeley Downey is acting deputy editor of IOSH Magazine. She is a former editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine

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