A Teesside chemical manufacturing company has been fined £224,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,098 after failing to manage the risk of exposure to chemicals harmful to health. Workers regularly exposed to the chemicals, which can cause sensitisation of the skin, from October 2013 to December 2016. They suffered rashes and in some cases were unable to continue working at the site. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to conduct a suitable and sufficient risk assessment, failed to prevent the release of hazardous substances, failed to prevent spread of contamination, failed to properly decontaminate and failed to have in place an effective system of health surveillance.
A Cambridgeshire haulage company has been fined £510,000 and ordered to pay costs of £30,000 after they admitted illegally storing baled waste. Its director has been ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work. The company operated from an address which had an environmental permit, but the offences occurred at sites which did not. During 2014 and 2015 the company used a site next to Royston Sewage Treatment Works to illegally store thousands of tonnes of baled combustible waste known as refuse derived fuel (RDF), which posed a significant fire risk. Some waste was also buried at the site and some stockpiled at another nearby location.
A Bedfordshire waste company has been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,603 after two of its employees suffered burns whilst using an industrial plastic shredder to process flammable aerosol containers. While using a gas operated forklift to lift the canisters into a shredder, a spark from the forklift ignited a cloud of gas created by the shredded aerosols, leading to an explosion. While both workers were injured, one suffered serious third degree burns which left him in an induced coma for 10 days, on a life support machine. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the work was not suitably planned, not supervised by a competent person nor was it carried out in a safe manner.