This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Baseefa Ltd

HSE fines UK distillery after blaze that seriously injured worker

19 August 2016

A distillery in Oldbury has been fined after an employee was engulfed in flames in a fire that destroyed the warehouse and its contents. Wolverhampton Crown Court heard how ethyl acetate, a highly flammable liquid, was being transferred from a bulk storage tank into an intermediate bulk container when an employee was engulfed in flames and sustained 20% burns to his head, neck and hands.

Alcohols Ltd blaze in Oldham - Image: HSE
Alcohols Ltd blaze in Oldham - Image: HSE

The fire, at the Alcohol Limited distillery on Crosswell road in Oldbury, destroyed the warehouse and caused damage to nearby cars and houses. West Mercia Fire and Rescue Service were called to bring the fire under control.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred on 26 November 2012, found that the most likely source of ignition was a discharge of static electricity generated by the transfer of the liquid.

It also found there was poor maintenance of pipework and associated valves, and there was a failure to competently inspect the equipment or monitor the systems of work.

Alcohols Ltd, of Charringtons House, The Causeway, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £270,000 and ordered to pay costs of £25,009.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Kieron Jones said: “Companies that fail to ensure the integrity of their safety critical equipment place their employees, members of the public, emergency services and their entire livelihood at risk of serious harm.

“Poor management of highly flammable liquids can have catastrophic results both for individuals and businesses.”
 


Print this page | E-mail this page

CSA Sira Test