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Essex firm taken to court over safety failures

An Essex firm has been fined for neglecting chemical safety after a fire involving a brazier and a drum of thinners led to safety breaches being uncovered at its Rainham site.

CLB Refrigeration, of Parkside, Woodside, Grays, Essex, which cleans and refurbishes industrial-size refrigeration containers, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) at Southwark Crown Court after its investigation.

A 25-litre drum of paint thinner was involved in an incident in October 2012, where a fireball erupted in a brazier at the company’s site in Ferry Lane.

HSE said that CLB Refrigeration had failed in its duties to assess and control the use of paint thinners – it was not aware of how workers were using the dangerous substance and was also unaware that a brazier was being used to burn rubbish.

The company had not properly assessed the risks involved in using and storing paint thinners and had fallen far below the standard of controlling the risks.

CLB Refrigeration failed to ensure it had full knowledge of all the chemicals on site and how they were being used, and failed to undertake an assessment of the risks involved.

CLB Refrigeration pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002, was fined a total of £22,500 and ordered to pay £9,243 in costs.

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