Dairy firm in hot water

Meadow Foods has incurred fines and costs of £72,500 after two workers were scalded by 70°C water that escaped from a tank they were cleaning. Chester Magistrates’ Court accepted a guilty plea to charges under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. They heard that the company’s risk assessment of the tank clearing process did not take into account the fact that a series of valves had to be opened and closed in a strict sequence, and there was no system of work to explain what should be done.

When an employee opened a valve he unintentionally released compressed air from the pipework and this sent hot water over him and his colleague, both of whom sustained serious burns.

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