Yorkshire solvent recycling firm taken to court over dangerous spill
Posted by Ben Alexander
A solvent recycling firm in West Yorkshire has been in court over safety failings that saw a major spillage of almost 4,000 litres of highly flammable liquid from a road tanker.
Employees of the Tradebe Solvent Recycling Ltd site in Knottingley were exposed to serious risk that the liquid might catch fire.
When the pool of dangerous liquid was discovered, three workers waded into it. One used his finger to block a drain hole to keep it from flowing into the nearby river.
Two others went to find sand for the drain hole, and brushes to sweep the liquid elsewhere.
Wakefield Magistrates court was told that no steps were taken to immediately stop traffic on the site, which produced a risk of ignition.
The incident occurred when one operative began filling a tanker with paint thinners, unaware that the previous shift had seen it filled with industrial denatured alcohol (methylated spirits).
The vehicle was left with the pump running for around 15 minutes while the worker fetched some paperwork.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the company did not have a safe system in place for filling tankers, and there was also some failings in procedures at important times.
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