HSE fines chemical company for failure to make workplace safety improvements

August 4, 2012

A chemical factory that manufactures a number of specialised chemical materials has been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay over £8,000 in court costs because it had shown an inability to take any notice of warnings it had been given by the Health and Safety Executive after a series of inspections. The company was judged to be seriously lacking in its ability to provide an adequately safe workplace environment.

HSE inspectors had made several visits to the manufacturing centre in Sandycroft, Deeside between 2008 and 2010 and issued three separate Improvement Notices under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The company apparently took no action to remedy its workplace safety environment after receiving the notices.

A spokesperson from the HSE said at the hearing in Mold that the company produced dangerous substances and had a responsibility to the safety of its own workers on the site as well as residents and other people who lived nearby. He said that the chemical substances produced had a significant explosion and fire risk. This meant that there was always a possibility that there could have been a major incident at any time and the company should have had an adequate plan in place to prevent any resulting accidents.

The court hearing in Mold was told that the company not only did not seem to take any steps to remedy the way in which the chemicals were manufactured, stored and distributed but they showed no inclination to commit any of their funds to making their plant a safer place.

The HSE Inspector present at the hearing, Mark Burton, said that the company had had plenty of time to make the changes required, but instead chose to ignore the requests. The results of a major fire or explosion at the site could have been “devastating” he said.

The company, Euticals Limited, which used to trade under the name Archimica Limited, pleaded guilty to the charges laid against them.