UK: HSE to Prosecute 7 years After Pembroke Refinery Explosion

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced that two companies will face prosecution over a serious incident at an oil refinery in South Wales in 2011, which resulted in the deaths of four workers. Many others were injured.

Valero Energy UK (a UK fuel provider) and B & A Contracts limited (a construction firm) will face charges under sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Dennis Riley, Andrew Jenkins, Robert Broome and Julie Jones died in the blast while working on the Amine Recovery Unit at the refinery. Andrew Phillips, another employee, also suffered major injuries in the fire following the explosion of a storage tank.

At the time of the blast, the refinery was operated by Chevron Limited, but ownership changed in August 2011. The Pembroke Refinery is now operated by Valero Energy, “which is a different legal entity”, according to HSE.

The Crown Prosecution Service had previously claimed that there was insufficient evidence to proceed against any of the companies involved. However, HSE continued investigating, and now the defendants will now appear at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on 24 September 2018.

The deputy director of field operations at HSE, Jane Lassey, stated the following: “Following a painstaking and extremely thorough investigation, much of which was conducted jointly with Dyfed Powys Police, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges.”

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