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Lawyers Call For Lessons To Be Learnt After Company Admits Breaching Health And Safety Regulations

Chemical Company Appear Before Liverpool Magistrates


Specialist personal injury lawyers say they hope valuable lessons have been learnt about the importance of health and safety regulations after the owners of a chemical factory in Merseyside admitted responsibility for an explosion in which a man suffered horrific burns.

SAFC Hitech Ltd, based at Dock Road South in Bromborough, admitted breaching two health and safety regulations at its factory, which specialises in handling hazardous gas, following an incident on 28 February 2012.

A 44-year-old male employee was left in a critical condition and taken to the Royal Liverpool Hospital with extensive burns to his face and arms. Emergency services and representatives from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) attended the scene following reports of a ‘chemical spill’ and an investigation was later launched.

HSE prosecutor Simon Partington said the employee had been working with a chemical called trimethylindium, or TMI, which can combust spontaneously on contact with air. The injured man was treated in hospital for three months after the incident.

Irwin Mitchell has represented many clients injured in similar incidents, including more than 70 workers and residents affected by the fire at the Killingholme refinery in East Yorkshire 2001. Conoco-Phillips, which owned the plant, was fined £1m for breaching safety regulations in relation to the incident.

David Urpeth, national head of workplace injuries at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Safety always needs to be a priority in the workplace, particularly when it comes to working in close proximity to potentially hazardous materials and substances.

“We have seen in the past the huge consequences that industrial accidents and explosions can have one those involved, as well as residents who are exposed to harmful fumes or substances as a result of such issues.

“We hope that valuable lessons have been learnt from this case by other employees so that standards can be improved for other vulnerable employees working with potentially dangerous substances.”

The case is due to be heard at Liverpool Crown Court the week commencing Monday, 4 March where SAF Hitech Ltd face a significant fine.