Several accidents at work lead to prosecution of international firm

International chemical firm, Tata Chemicals Europe Ltd, has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following three accidents at work in 2010.

One man suffered severe burns to his right foot. A layer of skin was removed and he required 18 months of treatment.

Another man was injured when the metal grating on which he was walking, gave way five floors up.

The final incident saw employees at the company’s former Brunner Mond plant put at risk when high levels of carbon monoxide were released into the plant.

Tata Chemicals was prosecuted by the HSE following an investigation into the incidents at their Winnington Lane Site.

Chester Crown Court was told that the first accident at work occurred in January 2010 when a man was trying to reach a pump to restart it. His right foot went through a missing part of the grating.

He was exposed to toxic liquid which was at a temperature of around 95 degrees Celsius when his foot entered the sump below the grating, which was being used to collect overflowing chemicals.

The second incident occurred six months later in July 2010, when a dangerous gas was released into the plant where employees were working, this resulted in high level of carbon monoxide being present.

The investigation into this incident found that employees had not been provided with adequate practical training for the work activity that caused the gas leak and that the emergency procedures at the plant were inadequate.

The third accident at work occurred in November 2010 when part of the gantry on which a worker was walking, gave way as the metal grating under him had become badly corroded. He escaped with minor injuries after he landed on a scaffolding board on the walkway below.

When a HSE inspector visited the factory, they discovered that Tata Chemicals had failed to report another part of the metal grating collapsing two days prior to the November accident at work.

Tata Chemical Europe Ltd is part of the global Tata Group.

It pleaded guilty to four breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and two breaches of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995.

Vicki Wright, an expert personal injury lawyer at Swain & Co Solicitors, says, “It is shocking that in one single year a global company, the size of Tata, risked their employees safety on more than one occasion.”

“The general conditions of the plant that the HSE found were described as extremely poor and training for staff was inadequate.”

“There is the potential for extreme danger in the chemicals industry; therefore it is vital that companies make health and safety an ultimate priority.”

If you have been injured in an accident at work through no fault of your own, Vicki Wright and Melanie Lidstone Land will be happy to offer you a free initial consultation to discuss the possibilities of making a claim against your employer.

We can work on a no win no fee basis for you.

So call Vicki or Melanie for free on 0800 0351 999