Oil and chemical plants run by INEOS at Grangemouth have breached health and safety regulations 34 times in the last four years, been officially condemned as “poor” for pollution three years in a row, and seen more than 20 staff injured since the start of 2015.
An investigation by the Sunday Herald has uncovered the Swiss-based petrochemical giant’s record of mishaps, leaks and failures to control risks for workers.
The revelations have prompted criticisms from environmentalists and trade unionists, who claim that safety at Grangemouth has deteriorated. They will also increase anxieties over INEOS’s bid to win community and political support for fracking shale gas across the central belt.
The fears are, however, dismissed as “baseless” by INEOS. Grangemouth has one of the best safety records in the chemicals industry and 2014 was its best ever year, the company says.
However, failing to reduce the dangers of pipes degrading in 2011 could have led to a major accident, according to the government's Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
INEOS has been served 11 legal enforcement notices by the HSE for breaking the rules 34 times at Grangemouth between 2011 and 2014. This compares to just three notices over the previous four years from 2007 to 2010.