£15,000 fine for Silvercliffs chlorine leak

IN a prosecution brought by Moyle District Council, Hagans Leisure Ltd has been ordered to pay a total of £15,000 after health and safety failings led to members of the public being exposed to a release of chlorine gas.

Thursday, 31st January 2013, 12:10 pm

The incident happened at the Silvercliffs Holiday Village in Ballycastle which is owned by Hagans Leisure Ltd of Templepatrick.

At Antrim Crown Court on January 18, Sam Hagan, Director of Hagans Leisure Ltd pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to ensure the public’s safety contrary to Article 5 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978.

Inadequate risk assessments, deficiencies in staff training and poorly maintained equipment led to a chlorine gas leak at Silvercliffs Holiday Village, on the 27th June 2009.

The swimming pool had to be evacuated after chlorine gas made its way from the plant room into the swimming pool which was open to the public and residents at the time of the incident.

Mrs Debbie O’Neill, Senior Health and Safety Officer said: WWhen a company fails to properly assess risks to those for whom they have a duty of care, there can be serious consequences.

“This was a lengthy and complex investigation which demonstrates the Council’s commitment to protecting employee and public safety.

“All companies have a legal duty to ensure the health and safety of both their employees and members of the public. In this case, Hagan Leisure Ltd fell well below the standards expected.”

Mrs Sharon Bateson, Head of Environmental Health Unit at Moyle District Council further stated “Whilst the Environmental Health Unit always prefers to give advice and support to businesses, we will not hesitate to use our enforcement powers to deal with serious incidents.

“In light of this case, I would remind all employers in the district to ensure their health and safety arrangements are fit for purpose. Any business requiring health and safety advice should contact the Environmental Health Unit on 028 20762225.”