Corus Fined For Third Time In A Month During March

10 Apr 2010

Magistrates heard that the chimney, known as a flarestack, required welding to put right earlier repair work on the structure. However, the stack wasn’t adequately isolated from the live gas system when the welding took place, meaning traces of extremely flammable gas were present inside. The gas ignited during the work and almost blew the flarestack in half. In addition to the £10,000 fine, Corus UK Ltd was ordered to pay £6,155 in costs for breaching the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002. After the hearing HSE inspector Helen Berry commented: ‘It was sheer good fortune that nobody was killed or seriously injured by the explosion. We could so easily be talking about a catastrophic incident given the size and scale of the structure.’ She added: ‘There were clear breaches relating to safe working and risk assessment, and it’s disappointing that a major employer like Corus failed in this regard and endangered the lives of workers.’