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Court fines firm £150,000 after corroded tank spill contents

A case against a chemical company made by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has resulted in the company being fined £150,000, after they admitted releasing a huge quantity of waste solvent.

The HSE brought the case against Solvent Resource Management Ltd after health and safety regulations were breached, which resulted in the spill.

The accident happened after a steel tank collapsed onto a retaining wall due to excessive corrosion in the tank. This resulted in over 300 tonnes of solvent and waste water being released. When the accident happened a valve was also knocked off an adjoining tank which released a further 90 tonnes of contaminated solution into the surrounding area.

The HSE found that the firm had filed to manage the inspection and examination of the tanks on site and stopped the firm using the other tanks they owned until they could be tested and proved safe to use.

Trevor Jones, the HSE inspector on the case stated:

"If the company had put in place suitable and effective measures to manage the tank inspection programme, according to its contents and use, then this incident would have been prevented."

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