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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Carlisle-based company fined for Langholm factory explosion

The Carlisle-based parent company of Border Fine Arts has been fined £10,500 after an explosion at its Langholm factory two years ago.

Enesco, which also has a site at Kingstown, was hit with the fine following an explosion that rocked the factory in July 2012, prompting an investigation.

It was a lucky escape for the employees working in the casting area because they were out of that part of the building on their morning break when the explosion happened.

Nobody was hurt but the blast could have resulted in serious injuries or even deaths.

Neighbours in Townfoot reported hearing a loud explosion and seeing thick black smoke pouring from the building, which was evacuated. The firm was issued with the fine at Dumfries Sheriff Court.

The charges related to a contravention of the dangerous substance and explosive atmosphere regulations and the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The company pleaded guilty to a failure to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to its employees where dangerous substances were present.

The Health and Safety Executive and Dumfries and Galloway fire service worked with Enesco at the site but the cause of the explosion has not been established. Gary Aitken, head of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service’s health and safety division, said: “It was simply good fortune that no employees were in the vicinity of the explosion and that no-one was injured or killed.

“To become operational again the company has engaged pro-actively with the Health and Safety Executive and a full assessment has been undertaken and all necessary manufacturing controls implemented,” he added.

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