Sussex recycling company eReco fined £30,000 following explosion

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:

Sussex recycling company eReco EMEA Corporation has been fined £30,000 following an explosion and fire at their site in Surrey which left a worker in an induced coma.

Eight people were injured as a result of the explosion in October 2011 at eReco’s facility at the Hobbs Industrial Estate in Lingfield, Surrey.

It was caused by a print toner which was incorrectly stored on the site.

Five workers were seriously injured, with one 30-year-old worker placed in an induced coma and remained in hospital for 15 weeks.

A joint investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) found that eReco had failed to ensure there was a safe system of work in place to reduce the risk of dangerous substances.

It also found that Paramount Waste Extraction, which designed the machinery used to shred and process the toner cartridges, relied on generic data to determine whether an explosive atmosphere could arise.

As a result, the shredding company was also fined £16,000 and ordered to pay a further £16,000 towards court costs.

Michelle Canning, HSE inspector, said: “All the employees involved in this incident are extremely lucky this explosion didn’t prove fatal.

“Both designers and suppliers must ensure that the risks of using their equipment are eliminated through safe design, and this should include taking into account foreseeable misuse.”

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