An Aberdeenshire fish factory has been ordered to make improvements after an ammonia leak.
Fire crews were called to Laeso Fish in Peterhead in June following reports of a leak.
An investigation was launched after personnel worked to control the cooling system leak for more than 12 hours.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has now published improvement notices to demand steps are taken to stop it happening again.
However, management have said action has already been taken on “quick fixes” to address the issue – stressing that safety is their “number-one priority”.
What happened in the leak?
Fire crews were called to Laeso Fish on the Dales Industrial Estate at about 12.30am on June 14.
Personnel wore specialist hazmat clothing to go in and out of the building where normally 25 people work.
Nobody was hurt during the incident.
The HSE has now published improvement notices stating the firm did not have suitable arrangements in place in the event of a leak.
It adds: “You (Laeso Fish) have failed to establish arrangements to ensure that, in the event of a leak of ammonia from the ammonia refrigeration system on site, immediate steps are taken to mitigate the effects of the event in that; there are no measures in place to increase ventilation within the ammonia plant room to dilute hazardous concentrations of ammonia in the event of a leak in this area and, there have been no arrangements made to ensure that, where it is safe to do so, valves can be immediately closed to isolate the system and prevent further escape of ammonia.”
The HSE notice says the concerns are breaches of the Health and Safety at Work ACT and the dangerous substances and explosive atmospheres regulations.
What steps have the firm taken?
Laeso Fish immediately started working to make repairs to the site’s cooling system following the leak.
Talks have also been held between the firm and the HSE about what needs to be done.
Managing director Lasse Dahl Pedersen stressed the company was keen to make changes to improve safety.
He said: “We have taken some of the steps they (HSE) want already – some of them are quite big, and we’re starting to handle them now, and some were quick fixes.
“We had a private meeting with HSE this week to tell them where we are at with it.
“We are interested in doing things right, health and safety is our number-one priority, and rightly so.”