Suffolk company fined after explosion

SUFFOLK companies have today been warned to carry out proper risk assessments after a firm was heavily fined.Storeys Industrial Products, formerly known as Wardle Storeys, was fined £350,000 and ordered to pay £60,000 costs at Chelmsford Crown Court today after it was found guilty of failing to ensure the health and safety while at work for all of their employees.

SUFFOLK companies have today been warned to carry out proper risk assessments after a firm was heavily fined.

Storeys Industrial Products, formerly known as Wardle Storeys, was fined £350,000 and ordered to pay £60,000 costs at Chelmsford Crown Court today after it was found guilty of failing to ensure the health and safety while at work for all of their employees.

It follows an explosion on November 29 2005, at its factory at Brantham Works, Brantham, which left 55-year-old worker John Balls from Mistley with serious burns.

The Health and Safety Executive has today highlighted the importance of carrying out proper risk assessments, following the prosecution of a Suffolk company.

Inappropriate handling and use of dried Nitrocellulose prior to mixing caused the explosion and subsequent fire at the factory.

The company is currently in administration.

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HM inspector of health and safety, John Hawkins said: “This was a breach of obligation to its staff, indicative of failure by the company to appreciate the risks from such work, which inevitably lead to an explosion and injury to an employee.

“Although the company is now in administration, the HSE believe that it was important to proceed with the prosecution in the public interest, due to the serious nature of the incident.

“John Balls' injuries could and should have been avoided by straightforward safety precautions. The company should have re-assessed the risk following changes to their manufacturing procedures.

“This case illustrates how things can go badly wrong when risks are not properly controlled and HSE will not hesitate to take action against those who fall short of the law in such a way.”

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