Factory accident left Flintshire worker scarred for life

Reporter:

Hayley Collins

A DEESIDE worker was left scarred for life after a horrific accident at a chemical factory.

Dean Moore, 39, from Connah’s Quay suffered severe burns to his neck and shoulders following the accident at FMC Chemicals Ltd on the Wirral.

Mr Moore was unblocking equipment containing lithium chloride, a chemical used to make computer batteries, when the steam-heated substance spilled out on to him.

Wirral Magistrates’ Court was told Mr Moore had been employed as a temporary worker at the factory at the Wirral International Business Park, in Bromborough, but had not received suitable training to carry out the work.

The company was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and fined £13,485 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act by failing to ensure the safety of workers over the incident on June 5, 2008.

The company was also ordered to pay £8,926.50 court costs.

Speaking after the hearing Mr Moore said he had had difficulties finding work following the accident.

He said: “I’ve been permanently scarred and was in a lot of pain for six months after it happened and suffered from depression.

“It’s been a real struggle to find new work since the accident and I’m still unemployed.”

“We had been using steam to unblock the pipes and had assumed they were all clear when a load of the chemicals poured out. I thought safety measures were in place but obviously they weren’t.”

The court was also told the HSE had issued the company with three improvement notices in May 2007 after a worker suffered burns to their legs during maintenance cleaning work.

The company was served with another six notices in December 2007 requiring improvements to safety, which it was working towards complying with at the time of the incident involving Mr Moore.

Mark Burton, health and safety inspector at HSE, said: “Mr Moore was allowed to work in an area he had not been trained to work in and he should not have been there.

“FMC Chemicals was in the process of restructuring its safety management systems as a result of the enforcement notices we served and had appointed a new management team to lead the company.

“Unfortunately while the company was prioritising its resources at the time, it forgot the basics on this occasion. Significant risks should have been identified and adequate control measures put into place.”

See full story in the Leader

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