Somercotes and Eastwood firm back in court over legionella claims

Court hearing.
Court hearing.
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A Somercotes based engineering firm accused of exposing employees and the public to potentially lethal legionella bacteria has had its case further adjourned.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court originally heard how Chromalloy UK Limited is facing two charges from May 2011 to June 2012 brought by the Health and Safety Executive.

The first is that the company allegedly failed to ensure the health and safety of employees by exposing them to a risk of legionella bacteria through a water-based cooling system with limited management arrangements or without a preventative system. Chromalloy has also been charged with failing to repair gas turbine parts so people would not be exposed or affected by legionella bacteria in the cooling system.

Prosecuting solicitor Andrew Broome, representing the HSE, claimed the alleged offences led to a failure by Chromalloy to manage and contain the risk from legionella bacteria. He claimed the company allegedly put profit before safety and argued this created a risk to the public with air-borne legionella.

The HSE claimed during a visit to Chromalloy’s site in Somercotes that an HSE inspector felt spray, saw the yard’s surface was wet and that nearby cooling towers were allegedly corroded.

The inspector extended his visit to the rest of the Somercotes factory plus the company’s site at Eastwood and allegedly found significant failings in control, recording and management of risks.

Magistrates adjourned the case to Derby Crown Court last Wednesday and it has been further adjourned for a July 6 plea and case management hearing. Engineering firm Chromalloy refurbishes turbine blades. It has sites at Clover Nook Industrial Estate, Somercotes, and at Linkmel Road, Eastwood, which have been linked to the charges.