Turner Access Higher Safety Total Access
Total Access Ethentic Chipmunk Data
Chipmunk Data Turner Access Ethentic

WEAPONS PLANT FAILED TO MANAGE FIRE RISK

Lack of assessment for dangerous substances triggers large fine 

The Atomic Weapons Establishment PLC (AWE PLC) has been ordered to pay more than £280,000 in fines and costs for significant failings relating to its use and control of explosive materials after a worker was injured when a fire broke out in an explosives processing building.

Ashley Emery, aged 29, suffered burns to his arm and face in the incident at the site in Berkshire on 3 August 2010. Reading Crown Court heard today (28 May) that he was breaking dry nitrocellulose (NC) into a plastic bucket containing methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) as part of the process of producing a lacquer. The contents of the bucket ignited and produced a fireball.

HSE investigators established that:

  • the company possessed data sheets identifying the risks associated with the use of NC and MEK;
  • the data sheets provided direct guidance about situations to be avoided when using the substances;
  • insufficient heed was paid to the data sheets; and
  • storage of unnecessary hazardous materials in the manufacturing area.

In addition, a number of explosives processes were taking place at the same time.

Collection of shortcomings demonstrated multiple failures

AWE Plc, of Aldermaston, near Reading, was fined £200,000, ordered to pay £80,258 in costs, plus £2,500 in compensation to the injured man after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

After sentencing HSE inspector Dave Norman said:

“The fire could have caused multiple casualties and it was entirely preventable had better control systems been in place. The failure to instigate such controls was dependent on AWE identifying potential hazards and risks, all of which were well documented, but that simply did not happen.

The building and equipment within it did not comply with the-then current standards required for storing and handling explosives, which are potentially sensitive to static electricity, nor for storing and handling extremely flammable liquids.

The risks associated with the lacquer preparation were not fully recognised by the company. This was compounded by a decision to run numerous explosives processes at the same time and in the same building, which is completely unacceptable by industry standards.

We also found that the personal protective equipment (PPE) provided for employees, principally a lack of flame retardant coveralls, was inadequate. This collection of shortcomings demonstrates that there were failures of supervision, monitoring and auditing over time, including in relation to the conducting, validating and approval of risk assessments.”

Latest Construction Health and Safety News

MAJOR SUPPLIER FINED £1.2M OVER DRIVER DEATH

Delivery driver crushed by overloaded FLT at supplier factory premises

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 23rd November 2017

SOLAR PANEL BOSS SENTENCED WITH COMPANY

Director and company given hefty sentences over worker fall

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 22nd November 2017

BUSINESS LEFT LEGIONELLA RISK UNCONTROLLED

Effective management arrangements missing for tunnel wash

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 22nd November 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 22nd NOV 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 22nd November 2017

PRICE RISES FOR THOSE IGNORING HSE NOTICES

Contractor given jail term after scaffolding prohibition issued

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 22nd November 2017

UPDATED GUIDANCE ON EXCAVATORS USED AS CRANES

Plant Forum stresses excavators should not be ‘first choice’ for lifting

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 22nd November 2017

LORRY SHEETING ARRANGEMENTS PROVED FATAL

Driver fell 4m to death during unsafe un-sheeting of lorry

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 16th November 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 15th NOV 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 16th November 2017

NEW CPA GUIDANCE ON FORWARD TIPPING DUMPERS

Industry aims to help prevent overturns and collision with workers

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 13th November 2017

DEMOLITION WORKER LOST BALANCE IN FATAL FALL

Lack of measures in place to prevent fall from mezzanine floor

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 13th November 2017

GROUNDWORKER SET ON FIRE BY CABLE STRIKE

RAMS requirement for underground service checks not followed

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 13th November 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 8th NOV 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 9th November 2017

RARE SUPPLIER PROSECUTION OVER FATAL CRUSHING

Vehicle manufacturer design and unsafe user practice caused death

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 9th November 2017

ASBESTOS SURVEY FAILED TO COVER ALL WORK AREAS

Utilities firm fined after electricians exposed to drilled asbestos

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 8th November 2017

METAL GRID FELL FROM FLT DURING PAINTING

Steel fabricator could have used sling to safely suspend grids

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th November 2017

DRIVER ESCAPES WITH LIFE AFTER POWER STRIKE

Director given suspended sentence over lorry 132kV line contact

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th November 2017

SCAFFOLDER FELL ON TEMPORARY ROOF WORKS

Injured workman lacked training and fall arrest equipment

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th November 2017

FALLING CONTROL PANEL CRUSHED WORKMAN

Planning lacking on how to safely move heavy electrical equipment

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th November 2017

POWER DOOR INSTALLER JAILED FOR THREE YEARS

Falling electrically powered gate claimed life of resident

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 3rd November 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 2nd NOV 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 2nd November 2017

STEEL FIRM REMOVED BAND SAW SAFETY GUARD

Leg of worker crushed in the vice of an industrial band saw

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 2nd November 2017

WORKMAN FELL AFTER RAIL REMOVED FOR ACCESS

Small builder failed to allow for missing guard-rail

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 2nd November 2017

FINES RISE RAPIDLY ALONGSIDE HARM TO HEALTH

hselogo1HSE confirm lowest number of construction fatalities on record

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 2nd November 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE OCT 25th 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 25th October 2017

GIRDERS FELL DURING UNSAFE USE OF DEMO PLANT

Workman crushed and trapped by steel moved by company MD

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 25th October 2017
Turner Access Chipmunk Data
Total Access Ethentic
Higher Safety Turner Access