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During the waste oil recovery process at ESL Fuels' north blend tank farm at Stanlow Oil Terminal, liquid started to foam and overflow from a storage vessel, Liverpool Crown Court was told.
To temporarily remedy the issue, ESL used relief pipework to connect the leaking vessel to an emergency dump tank to collect foam.
This caused combustible gases to build up and create a flammable atmosphere in the pipes and secondary tank.
On 19 January 2015 an ESL contract worker used an angle grinder to cut one of the pipes that joined the two vessels. The flammable gases in the pipe ignited and the build-up of pressure caused the lid of the dump tank to detach.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that ESL had failed to inform the contractor of the process works taking place at the facility.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching ss 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £100,000. It must also pay £17,000 in costs.
After the hearing HSE inspector Matthew Lea said: "Even though nobody was injured, this incident could have been prevented if the work of the contractors had been controlled.
"The contractors were given a very basic induction and were not told about health and safety issues in relation to ESL Fuels being a COMAH [control of major accident hazards regulations] major hazard site. Contractors were not warned about the process work being carried out in the north blend tank farm and how it could impact on them."
ESL Fuels, which owned the lower-tier COMAH site at Ellesmere Port where it manufactured fuel products, was fined £100,000, with costs of £17,000 awarded to the HSE, at Liverpool Crown Court over the incident.In January 2015, waste oil contaminated with cobalt was being cleaned and converted into a clean energy source inside a 6 m-tall vessel (T 227) at the company’s North Blend Tank Farm. Nitric acid had been added to remove the cobalt impurities and this caused the waste oil to start to foam and overflow from the vessel into a bund.
On 28 October 2013 contractor Anthony Hopkins visited the Sycamore Road store in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, to replace the filters in an air handling unit on a plant platform above a suspended ceiling in the warehouse. He fell almost 3 m through the ceiling, sustaining fatal injuries.An investigation by Adrian Monkhouse, principal environmental health officer at Rotherham Council, found there were no barriers to prevent falls from the platform. The area immediately in front of its access ladder was only 45 cm wide and cabling presented trip hazards.
Self-employed electrician David Shanks had been contracted by Greencore to fit new machinery designed to deliver icing sugar to mixing machines located in the sugar paste room at its cake and dessert production factory in Hull. The work involved wiring two motors, which were on a gantry 3 m above ground.
The voluntary charter is part of a wider TUC campaign which calls for a terminal illness to be viewed as a “protected characteristic”. Charter signatories agree that terminally ill employees enter a “protected period” in which they cannot be dismissed because of their condition.Although the UK’s 2010 Equality Act does offer some protection for terminally ill employees, employers can dismiss them if they fail a capability assessment after “reasonable adjustments” have been made to their work arrangements, resulting in loss of income and loss of death in-service payments.
Hull Crown Court was told that Greencore Grocery had contracted the worker to carry out repairs at its factory in Hull in October 2013. The company provided the electrician with a stepladder to stand on while wiring a motor situated above a machine, when he fell and sustained fatal injuries. Greencore had failed to properly plan the job, said the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), including access arrangements for the installation of motors.
In March 2015 two receptionists were ordered to clean the spa and swimming pool at Fredrick’s Hotel, Restaurant and Spa in Maidenhead. They began vomiting after 30 minutes and one of them passed out.In a separate incident another employee sustained burns while using a decarboniser – a heated stainless steel tank for cleaning equipment and utensils in commercial kitchens – which was running at 82°C. The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead said its officers visited the site and found staff had not been properly trained in the use of cleaning agents.
A Belfast-based Risk & Compliance software provider has been collaborating with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and construction giant Costain as part of an ongoing project to unlock artificial intelligence’s (AI) potential in improving the management of risks on worksites.
The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released a new safety video to improve practices in the oil and gas sector following the Aghorn Operating waterflood station incident in 2019, which claimed the lives of an employee and his spouse.
Unions have voiced concerns that employers that use agency workers to fill safety-critical roles during strikes could, potentially, be putting employee safety at risk if they haven’t been fully trained.
The US Department of Labor has presented an Ohio-based vehicle parts manufacturer on its ‘severe violator enforcement programme’ with a fine of $480,240 (approx. £373,000) after inspectors found it had continually exposed workers to multiple machine hazards
A director who had installed a cryotherapy chamber was unfairly dismissed, a tribunal has ruled, because the technical director and principal health and safety officer at the business failed to raise concerns about the work undertaken.
Research published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has identified some weaknesses in the control measures at a number of ports and distribution centres in relation to workers coming into contact with hazardous substances when examining or unloading freight containers.
Global brewing giant Carlsberg has been fined £3 million after a contractor died and another was seriously injured following an ammonia gas leak at one of its breweries. We speak to HSE Principal Inspector Samantha Wells about the case.