Aspatria creamery fined for boiler explosion
Published at 16:21, Wednesday, 15 August 2012
A boiler explosion at the Aspatria Creamery has cost its owner more than £56,000.
The First Milk Cheese Company Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after its boiler house at the Station Road factory, was partially destroyed in the blast in July 2010.
Debris was thrown across the site, the roof lifted off the building and parts of two ground floor walls were blown out by the force of the explosion, although no one was hurt.
An investigation found a blocked vent on the water heating and storage system had caused it to explode.
Carlisle Magistrates’ Court heard on Wednesday that the system could hold up to 9,000 litres of water and was used to produce hot water for washing down the dairy.
Maintenance engineers at the plant had been manually controlling the steam supply valve to it after the automatic control broke down.
The Health and Safety Executive investigation found the vent pipe on the tank, which should have allowed water to escape if it became too hot, had become completely blocked with calcium carbonate.
This meant the pressure inside the tank continued to rise, with the temperature of the water reaching almost 150 degrees, before it eventually caused an explosion.
The First Milk Cheese Company Ltd admitted a breach of the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000 by failing to ensure the vent pipe on the calorifier was kept clear.
The company, of Pickhill Lane, Wrexham, was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £36,064 costs.
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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