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Olympic Varnish Company, whose activities include metallic coating for giftwrap, had failed to identify the risks of using highly flammable liquids, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said following its investigation into the 10 July 2015 accident.
The company, based in Stroud, Gloucestershire, has been fined £16,000 plus £4,505 costs after it admitted breaching reg 6(1) of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002, which covers the elimination or reduction of risks from dangerous substances.
After the hearing HSE inspector Andrew Kingscott said: "If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the serious injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented."
Tata Steel UK failed repeatedly to act on the recommendations of a process hazard review (PHR), which identified the loss of cooling water to the plant’s benzole separation process as an “intolerable risk”. On 17 June 2011, a large quantity of benzole vapour – a known carcinogen and highly flammable – was released through an open sight glass (inspection porthole). The vapour cloud, a mixture of benzene and toluene, spread across the site leaving two workers with breathing difficulties and risking the death of five if the cloud had ignited.
Exeter Magistrates’ Court was told that Anthony Seward was preparing a piece of machinery for the next shift when his hand was drawn in to the rotating rollers. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Heathcoat Fabrics had not replaced the guard that had broken down two years before and had fitted an emergency stop wire instead.The guard was fixed the day after the incident happened, on 23 August 2014.
A large quantity of benzole was released at an open site glass in the steel works on 17 June 2011. A flammable cloud developed and, had it ignited, the release could have led to serious injury or the death of the five workers. Two of the exposed workers experienced breathing difficulties. Both were sent to hospital but were discharged the next day. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Tata Steel had ignored the risks of uncontrolled releases even though they had been identified previously.
Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard this week that a worker at Pyronix’s Rotherham plant was dipping baskets, which contained printed circuit boards (PCBs), into fluorocoat thin film coating to provide humidity protection when the incident occurred in April 2015.
A 29-year-old employee of Taylor Engineering and Plastics (TEP) developed the condition from sanding tools that he used while working in the factory’s trimming department, Greater Manchester Magistrates’ Court was told. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that although TEP was required to provide health surveillance under regulations that were introduced in 2005, it had failed to do so until 2014.
More than 200 clothing companies, retailers and importers from over 20 countries in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia have so far have signed the agreement. They include Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas, C&A, Debenhams, Hugo Boss, John Lewis, LC Waikiki, and Marks and Spencer. The accord has also been signed by the trade union federations IndustriALL Global Union and UNI Global Union, as well as eight Bangladesh trade unions and four non-governmental organisations.