Somercotes firm accused of legionella safety breach

Chromalloy factory at Bramble Way, Clover Nook Industrial Park, Somercotes, Alfreton.
Chromalloy factory at Bramble Way, Clover Nook Industrial Park, Somercotes, Alfreton.
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A Somercotes-based engineering firm accused of exposing employees and the public to potentially lethal legionella bacteria is facing a crown court trial.

Derby Crown Court 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 system that would prevent any risk.

The second charge relates to an alleged failure to repair gas turbine parts so people would not be exposed or affected by legionella bacteria in the cooling system.

During a previous hearing at Chesterfield magistrates’ court, prosecuting solicitor Andrew Broome, representing the HSE, claimed the two alleged offences led to a failure by Chromalloy to manage and contain the risk from legionella bacteria.

He claimed the charges are aggravated because the company allegedly put profit before safety and argued this created a risk to the public with air-borne legionella which can spread and affect the populous.

The Health and Safety Executive claimed during a visit to Chromalloy’s site in Somercotes in May 2012, that an HSE inspector felt spray on his face, 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 the company’s control, recording and management of legionella risks.

Chromalloy’s case was considered on July 6 at a Derby Crown Court and was adjourned until August 24 for a scheduled trial.