Whisky ignites warehouse blaze

01 Mar 2013

Two workers fled a whisky warehouse blaze after a jet of the spirit hit a light fitting, engulfing a forklift truck in flames, a court heard.

The Edrington Group Ltd was fined £40,000 by Glasgow Sheriff Court after admitting breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.

During an earlier hearing the court was told the men were working at the scotch manufacturer's warehouse on Great Western Road, Glasgow, when the fire started in June 2011.

They were using flexible hoses to fill 450-litre casks with whisky pumped from steel vats. One felt the hose relax and turned to see a jet of whisky shooting up towards a ceiling light fitting above a forklift truck, which was then engulfed by flames. The incident resulted in 70 of the warehouse's 110 sprinkler heads being activated.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation had found that the building's central aisle lights should not have been used in a flammable atmosphere. Had the lights been checked, the HSE said, they would have been identified as an ignition source risk. The executive's investigation also found filling equipment wasn't suitable for transferring a hazardous substance such as alcohol at pressure.

Copyright Press Association 2013

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