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Firm ‘deeply regrets’ refinery explosion death

Posted in: Workplace Injuries 

Five years after the death of Robert Greenacre at the TOTAL Lindsey Oil Refinery, the firm says it has made numerous changes and improvements. Mr Greenacre died in an explosion at the oil refinery in 2010, caused by a series of miscalculations. It was heard in court that the mistakes resulted in the wrong flange being opened, causing the disaster.

November 2009 saw TOTAL pay out £3.6million in fines, and an additional £2.6million in costs after a Health and Safety at Work prosecution. This came after an “enormous vapour cloud explosion” and fire at Buncefield, Hertfordshire, in December 2005. Nobody was killed in the fire.

Wish to ‘turn back the clock’

A spokesperson from the company said that the firm deeply regretted the accident and wished to ‘turn back the clock’. Stephen Hockman QC, mitigating, said that the firm had co-operated throughout every element of the investigation and had settled a civil compensation claim.

It was heard that the firm had a number of safety procedures in place when the explosion happened, but the company agreed that they were not all “completely perfect”. An “isolated lapse” had occurred, where oil spurts out, for which the company had employed the most experienced staff to handle. Costing Mr Greenacre his life.

A statement from the company said: “Total UK Limited deeply regrets the accident in 2010 and wishes to repeat its profound sorrow and regret to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr Robert Greenacre.

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