When an employee was engulfed in flames in a fire that destroyed the warehouse and its contents, A distillery in Oldbury has been fined.
Wolverhampton Crown Court, heard how ethyl acetate was being transferred from a bulk storage tank into an intermediate bulk container when an employee was engulfed in flames. The 21-year-old sustained twenty percent burns to his head, neck and hands.
West Mercia Fire ans Rescue Service were called to bring the fire under control, after it had destroyed the warehouse at the Alcohol Limited distillery on Crosswell road in Oldbury and caused damage to nearby cars and houses.
After the incident occurred on the 26th November 2012, the Health and Safety Executive, held an investigation which found that the most likely source of ignition was a discharge of static electricity generated by the transfer of the liquid.
There was a failure to competently inspect the equipment or monitor the systems of work, in addition to the poor maintenance of pipework and associated valves.
A fine of £270,000 and an order to pay costs of £25,009. was set after Alcohols Limited of Charringtons House, The Causeway, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty of breaching Sections 2(1) and 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
After the hearing 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.”