A yogurt manufacturing company has been prosecuted after engineers suffered serious injuries following the release of an acidic cleaning solution.

On 1 January 2016 the pair were replacing a faulty valve on a cleaning in place (CIP) system at T M Telford Dairy’s site in Donnington Wood, Telford.

The valve blew off under pressure and the 1% nitric acid cleaning solution, which had a temperature of 65oC, surged out, hitting the roof overhead and spraying on to the employees. While trying to escape from the acidic cleaning fluid, one of the workers fell from a hooped ladder and sustained a head injury.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigators told Telford Magistrates’ Court that the company had failed to ensure the safety of its employees and that it had not formally trained the two engineers in lock-off and isolation procedures, use of permits to work and safe removal of valves. It had also failed to assess the risks for the safe removal of the valves.

After pleading guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act, T M Telford Dairy was fined £600,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,379.