Toxic chemical release leads to prosecution
A chemical company has been sentenced at Leeds Crown Court for safety breaches when a very toxic chemical was ejected under pressure.
The release occurred when a company maintenance technician unintentionally opened a valve on top of an isotanker resulting in the release of between 3.5 and 3.8 tonnes of paraquat dichloride solution, leading to an investigation and prosecution by The Health and Safety Executive.
The investigation into the incident found that it could have been prevented if the company had properly assessed the real risk of the value being opened while the tank was under pressure.
Syngenta Ltd of Leeds Road Huddersfield pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Control Of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999 and Regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £200 000 with £13 041 costs.