WORKERS AT SALTEND have expressed concerns following a release of vapour from the INEOS plant at the site.
A trade union organiser representing workers at the site has conveyed reports from his members that “5 to 10 tons of vapour” may have been released into the atmosphere. Some of his members have experienced sore eyes and throats as a result.
The INEOS Press Office have confirmed that there was an incident involving a “minor release of non-toxic vapour” at about 4:15pm on Monday 26th September.
An earlier report from a source at the site said that workers had to run for cover to escape the gas cloud. They were then confined to their cabins until the decision to send everybody home was made at 5pm when workers were escorted off the site.
Workers have also expressed concern that the Toxic Alarm was not sounded during the incident.
It is understood that trade unions and INEOS have been meeting today to discuss these concerns and a mass meeting of workers will be held on the site tomorrow. *See comment below.
INEOS have released a press statement about the incident:
INCIDENT AT INEOS ENTERPRISES VAM PLANT AT SALTEND SITE, HULL
INEOS Enterprises can confirm that at approximately 4:15pm on Monday 26 September 2011, there was an incident on the Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM) Plant at its Saltend Site, Hull.
The incident involved a minor release of non-toxic vapour. The site toxic alarm was not sounded as the chemicals released were non-toxic, however as a precautionary measure workers in close proximity to the incident were advised to go inside and clear the area.
There were no significant injuries and no off-site impact as a result of the incident. We are now liaising with both the Health & Safety Executive and the Environment Agency.
The Company’s tried and tested emergency procedures worked as planned in the control and management of this incident. A full investigation will now be carried out into the cause of the incident.
NOTE: Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM) is manufactured at the INEOS plant at the Saltend Site. It is used in the production of paints; furniture and flooring adhesives; textiles, clothing and footwear; paper coatings; packaging; and safety glass for cars and buildings.