Men suffered chemical burns to their faces
The men had been employed by an on-site contractor, and were working on a roadway in between two areas of the plant when the incident took place.
Despite the men’s job having nothing to do with chemicals, they suffered chemical burns to their faces when pipes which were exposed burst, spraying their contents all over the workers.
The pipes were carrying a mixture that was 96% sulphuric acid, which is corrosive, and had been allowed to get into a poor condition over fifty years.
Thankfully, due to quick thinking by another member of staff, the men showered and received first aid treatment on site, which reduced the severity of their injuries.
According to the HSE inspector involved in the case, the chemical company had failed to conduct checks of all the 9,250 meters of pipeline on the site – a lot of which is more than five decades old.
She added, “[The firm] is part of an international chemical company and would be well aware of the legal requirement to ensure on-going integrity of the sulphuric acid pipe-work, but they failed to do this for many years. The result was a system that gradually and invisibly became more and more dangerous.
“High hazard sites must ensure that there are rigorous monitoring procedures in place for such systems.”
The company was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay court costs of £18,023 for its negligence towards health and safety.News