The report from the public inquiry into the disaster at the ICL Plastics Ltd and ICL Tech Ltd factory in the Maryhill area of Glasgow in 2004 by the Lord Justice Clerk, The Right Honourable Lord Gill, has been published by ministers today, following its publication by Lord Gill to ministers on 1 July 2009.
Lord Gill said that the disaster was an “avoidable” one and said that both the factory and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) were to blame. The factory was to blame for flouting health and safety rules while HSE were to blame for allowing the factory to flout the rules, Lord Gill found.
In his report Lord Gill made recommendations to try and prevent a similar disaster from happening again.
On 11 May 2004 the Stockline Plastics factory operated by ICL Plastics Ltd and ICL Tech Ltd exploded, at the time it was thought that up to 100 people were working inside the building when the explosion happened. The explosion was so devastating that only a small corner of the factory remained intact; the rest having been reduced to rubble and dust. Nine people lost their lives and 33 were injured in the disaster which shook much of the city. In August 2007 the operators of the factory plead guilty to four separate safety breaches and were fined £400,000 at the High Court of Justiciary sitting in Glasgow. The Court heard that it would have cost just £405 to replace the damaged parts of the pipe carrying liquid petroleum gas into the factory, which could have prevented the whole disaster from happening in the first place. A public inquiry was finally announced in September 2007 and started in July 2008. No individuals were prosecuted over the disaster.
The website for Lord Gill’s inquiry can be found here. The report is available on the website as well.