A Grimsby chemical company has been fined £2.2 million for an incident in March 2010 when a loss of containment of Titanium Tetrachloride resulted in the death of a worker and a second having life changing injuries. The company was also fined £600,000 for a second release which occurred in July 2011. The company was also ordered to pay £37,868 costs.
The investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had deviated from the normal operating procedures, which led to the dangerous build-up of the chemical. Parts of the plant and its procedures were poorly designed and the company had not established robust safety management procedures and systems of work to assess and control risk and to ensure that these were actually followed.
After the hearing the HSE inspector commented: “The incident of 5 March 2010 caused the death of one employee and life changing injuries to another. Had the wind been blowing in the opposite direction it could also have caused a local disaster. However, the company still did not learn lessons from the 2010 incident and had another significant release of the same toxic gas just over a year later”