• Robert Spicer

Explosion at chemical company’s site: £1.2 million fine

Explosion at chemicals company site: £1.2 million fine

Health and Safety Executive v Industrial Chemicals Ltd (2017) Chelmsford Crown Court, July 7

Statutory reference: regulation 4 of the Control of Major Hazards Regulations 1999 (CMHR).

Industrial Chemicals Ltd has been fined following an explosion at its site in West Thurrock.

The facts

· In September 2013 a newly installed hydrochloric acid burner exploded, causing significant damage at the site.Two workers suffered minor injuries.

· In an attempt to address risks from chlorine, the company had routed vent gas containing mostly hydrogen to the site’s emergency scrubber where it came into contact with oxygen or chlorine which exploded when it came into contact with an ignition source.

The decision

The company was fined £1.2 million plus £35,000 costs under regulation 4 of CMHR>

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