Firm to probe toxic fumes emergency in Saltney

Published date: 11 April 2014 |
Published by: Robert Doman 
Read more articles by Robert Doman  Email reporter


A COMPANY is carrying out an internal investigation after workers inhaled toxic fumes.

Eleven workers at the English Provender Company site at River Lane, Saltney, went to the Countess of Chester Hospital on Wednesday after inhaling the toxic fumes and one was kept in hospital overnight as a precaution.

Two cleaning agents had been mixed together causing a release of noxious vapour and workers were seen coughing as they left the premises, before being decontaminated.

A statement released by Clive Whittaker, marketing manager at EPC, yesterday morning said one member of staff was kept in hospital on Wednesday night as a precaution, but was released yesterday.

“We are pleased to report that of the people who attended hospital yesterday, all were released on Wednesday, with the exception of one member of staff who was kept in overnight as a precautionary measure.”

That member of staff is said to be “well” and expected to be back at work today.

Mr Whittaker added: “An internal investigation is being conducted into the circumstances surrounding the incident. The results may not be known for a number of days.

“We can also report that production at the site was restarted on Wednesday at 4pm following an inspection conducted by the appropriate external authorities.”

The incident provoked a major response from the emergency services as workers were transferred to a special tent at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

Some were seen coughing as they left the site and other staff went off wearing disposable paper suits.

Mr Whittaker also confirmed the company will be contacting the Health and Safety Executive in relation to the matter.

EPC produces dressings, condiments and marinades for many of the UK’s leading food manufacturers.

The factory in Saltney employs 135 people.

A HSE spokesman said yesterday: “We have not been notified about the incident so we have not started an investigation.

“The company has 14 days to let us know.

“We would look at whether it is a matter for us to investigate and whether it is a health and safety issue.

“We don’t automatically investigate every incident.”

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