A steel company was fined £930,000 and ordered to pay costs of £70,000 after the release, in June 2011, of toxic and flammable substances from its site on Humberside. The court heard that a large quantity of Benzole was released at an open site glass. The release resulted in a large flammable vapour cloud. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company failed to take the appropriate safety measures to prevent the release of the toxic and flammable chemical. It was found the company failed to address the risks which had previously been identified and the incident could have been entirely avoided if the company addressed these concerns.
A Manchester engineering firm has been fined £120,000 with £7,241 costs for failing to control the risk to employees using hand held power tools from Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS). An HSE inspector said: “This is a case of the company failing to protect workers using vibrating tools. Exposure to hand arm vibration is a well-known risk which the company failed to adequately control. The company also failed to ensure workers were looked after when symptoms did arise leading to further exposure”
A Sheffield steel manufacturer has been fined £1,000,000 with £58,000 costs following an incident in August 2013 when an employee was severely burnt as the result of an oxygen pipe explosion. The injured party was carrying out checks whilst working on the line and heard hissing from a valve. As he went to investigate the noise, the pipe and valve erupted in flames.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the oxygen pipe had been fitted with contaminated second-hand flanges and butterfly valve, containing materials unsuitable for use with oxygen. HSE stated that “It was foreseeable that work would at some point be undertaken on the oxygen pipelines which ran across the entire site, yet no action had been taken to take control of this line or to implement training or levels of responsibility for management of such work”.