Warley Magistrates’ Court has fined a Chemical company a total of £333,000 and ordered to pay costs of £110,000 after pleading guilty to an offence under Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported that in January 2009 a dangerous gas of phosphorus and phosphine which, upon contact with air, spontaneously ignites to produce phosphorous pentoxide, was released into the environment.
This dangerous release of gas caused disruption to areas of the M5 motorway, employees and local residents.
The court heard that the leaked substance was due to a “rodder” steel bar which failed to weld in a normal way.
After the case was heard, HSE Inspector Kay Brookes, said:
“Environmental and health and safety law set out clear requirements for operators to make sure they take the appropriate steps to run their sites safely, so that people and the environment are properly protected.”
“This case is an example of how we take direct action against companies that fail to do this, break the law and create an unacceptable risk to the community.”
For more information about control of dangerous substances visit:http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/