Electricity power station company, Keadby Generation has been fined £200,000 after three contractors were injured by a release of water and sludge while carrying out maintenance work in Cheshire
On 18 January 2018, three workers contracted by Keadby Generation Ltd, were removing a recirculation pump for maintenance in the Flue Gas Desulphurisation area of Fiddlers Ferry Power Station in Warrington.
Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how there was approximately 38.5m cubed of diluted slurry and associated stored energy was released while the pump was being removed, resulting in the contractors being knocked off the concrete plinth where they had been working.
All three workers sustained multiple fracture injuries.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the pressurised contents of the pump and associated pipework had not been discharged prior to work commencing due to the drainpipe being blocked. This resulted in the release of stored energy during the removal of the pump instead of during the isolation process.
Keadby Generation had failed to undertake a suitable and sufficient assessment of the hazards and risks associated with the work and had not implemented a safe system of work.
Keadby Generation pleaded guilty to breaching sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £200,000 with costs of £7163.20.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Jane Carroll said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided if the company had identified and managed the risks involved and put a safe system of work in place.
“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.
It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.