The Guardian reported that a steel company Celsa Manufacturing UK, which has admitted health and safety failures over the deaths of two workers who were killed in an explosion at a plant in Cardiff, could be fined up to GBP 1.5 million. Celsa Manufacturing UK entered the plea on Wednesday, the day their trial was due to start at Cardiff crown court. Judge Neil Bidder told the court an automatic shut-off failed to activate after hot oil used to lubricate steel rollers surpassed normal temperatures. Workers did not manually shut down the system because an alarm that would have notified them of the danger had also malfunctioned.
The judge said “The oil ignited and reached flash point … it caused a terrible explosion. The company has pleaded guilty to having failed to make suitable risk assessments. Had they made the assessments this accident would not have occurred. Two men were tragically killed. They went out to work one day and never came back, and another man was very seriously injured.”
Judge Bidder said the size of a fine would depend on the category of the offence, but it would be between GBP 130,000 and GBP 1.5 million, with a sentencing hearing scheduled for 4 October.
Engineers Peter O’Brien and Mark Sim died when a blast ripped through the Celsa Manufacturing plant. Another man was seriously injured in the explosion at the plant, in the Splott area, in November 2015.
Celsa UK employs more than 500 people and produces 1.2 million tonnes of steel each year from scrap. Its parent company, Celsa Group, is one of the largest steel companies in Europe with bases in Spain, Poland, Norway and France.
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