Rhodia/Solvay hazard risk investigation

The request was partially successful.

Dear Health and Safety Executive,

I am writing to make an open government request for all the
information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of
Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations.

In order to assist you with this request, I am outlining my query
as specifically as possible.

If however this request is too wide or too unclear, I would be
grateful if you could contact me as I understand that under the
act, you are required to advise and assist requesters.

I recently requested the final report of your investigation into this 2009 incident which was refused.
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/3...

A number of points are made in Kay Brookes response, one of them being that I could refine the request which would not be "manifestly unreasonable" if I narrowed down the information sort from the extensive documentation that she cited.
I therefore request the following, which I hope is both reasonable and in the public interest. I believe that the information requested to be easily obtainable from your report which is not manifestly unreasonable in terms of time. I also refer to an HSE press release on your website which directly quotes Kay Brookes.

"HSE inspector Kay Brookes, said: “This was a long and complex case, but at the heart of it lay the fact that this company’s actions caused an incident that affected the public and workers.

“The loss of containment and failure in Solvay’s systems caused huge disruption and the outcomes could have been far worse. "

http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/chemical-co...

(I) The conclusion of the report investigation. If this is too large to produce, please state how many pages it runs into.
(ii) Information presented in the report documentation in relation to the risk to human health of the "dangerous" chemicals released in the incident .

For the record, I am NOT seeking witness statements- except if they relate to expert witnesses on the matter of subject (ii). Any names here could easily be redacted, to answer Ms Brookes points in the previous request.
I am NOT seeking any commercially confidential information relating to Rhodia/Solvay's processes.
I am Not seeking diagrams and drawings or any site maps.
I do not believe the information to be in breach of section 12 (5) (e) National Security. This incident, the chemicals involved and the site itself are widely known and have been reported upon, not least upon your own press release. The danger posed to the public however has not been spelt out very clearly. I am therefore in this request looking for some evidence that you presented in legal argument about that potential risk and how "the outcomes could have been far worse."

I understand that under the act, I should be entitled to a response
within 20 working days.
I would be grateful if you could confirm that you have received
this request. I look forward to hearing from you in the near
future via the what do they know website address.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Carroll

Health and Safety Executive

Thank you for emailing the Health and Safety Executive. This is an automatic acknowledgement to tell you we have received your email.

Please note this email account is for the submitting of FOI requests via the 'whatdotheyknow' website only. For all other FOIs requests please refer to http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/your-right-to-...

HSE publishes a comprehensive range of information and guidance on our website. You can find out what the health and safety law requires by searching under the relevant topic or industry section, and all of our publications are free to download. HSE does not operate a telephone helpline for general health and safety information. If you need to engage the services of a health and safety consultant, you may wish to visit the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR).

If your email is a request for advice, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/informatio...

If your email is about a concern, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/complaints...

If you wish to report an incident, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/index.htm

Thank you for contacting the Health and Safety Executive.

Health and Safety Executive

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Carroll

 

Please find attached HSE’s acknowledgement of your request

 

Kind regards

 

Ivan Bromage

HSE Disclosure Officer

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Health and Safety Executive

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Carroll

 

Please see the attached correspondence from HSE.

 

Kind regards

 

Ivan Bromage

 

HSE Disclosure officer

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Health and Safety Executive

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Carroll

 

Please find attached HSE’s response to your request. Please note that the
second part of the report will be sent in a separate email due to
restrictions on the size of documents we are able to send by email.

 

Kind regards

 

Ivan Bromage

HSE Administration Officer

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Health and Safety Executive

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Carroll

 

Please find attached the second part of the Investigation Report

 

Kind regards

 

Ivan Bromage

HSE Administration Officer

show quoted sections

 

 

Mr Carroll left an annotation ()

It is bizarre that the HSE redact key information about the release of the chemicals involved - the basis of their whole case. Some of the many blanks provided in this report are readily accessible in press reports at the time- for example the redacted figure of 564 kilos of phosphoric acid- redacted here under 12 (5) (a). The HSE are a statutory consultee on Hazardous substance consents at this site, yet they have never objected to increases in dangerous chemicals.
Have they not themselves therefore contributed to threats of "national security, defence and public safety"?
I will be challenging the unnecessary redactions in this report.

Dear Health and Safety Executive,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Health and Safety Executive's handling of my FOI request 'Rhodia/Solvay hazard risk investigation'.

Firstly I would state that this this request was preceded by several others asking for publication of the investigation report and also at what stage the HSE investigation had reached. This was primarily due to the protracted investigation totalling 7 (Seven) years, which in my opinion was unreasonably long. In every case I was invited to make a separate request by the HSE in a few months time given that the investigation had not concluded and that a prosecution may follow. After conclusion of the trial at which Solvay solutions had been fined, (after changing their name in this time from Rhodia UK Limited”), I again submitted a FOI request to the HSE. I was advised by Kay Brookes that the scope of the request was too large, and that in her opinion, some of it may be redacted for reasons set out. This again appears to suggest resubmitting a further request.
I therefore revised my request on 16th March 2016 as follows.
“I therefore request the following, which I hope is both reasonable and in the public interest. I believe that the information requested to be easily obtainable from your report which is not manifestly unreasonable in terms of time. I also refer to an HSE press release on your website which directly quotes Kay Brookes.
"HSE inspector Kay Brookes, said: “This was a long and complex case, but at the heart of it lay the fact that this company’s actions caused an incident that affected the public and workers.
“The loss of containment and failure in Solvay’s systems caused huge disruption and the outcomes could have been far worse. "
http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/chemical-co...
(I) The conclusion of the report investigation. If this is too large to produce, please state how many pages it runs into.
(ii) Information presented in the report documentation in relation to the risk to human health of the "dangerous" chemicals released in the incident .
For the record, I am NOT seeking witness statements- except if they relate to expert witnesses on the matter of subject (ii). Any names here could easily be redacted, to answer Ms Brookes points in the previous request.
I am NOT seeking any commercially confidential information relating to Rhodia/Solvay's processes.
I am Not seeking diagrams and drawings or any site maps.”

I was then provided with a clarification that the request would be delayed due to the complex nature of the request (14th April) and then provided with what appears to be the broad basis of the report on 11th May in 2 PDF files, but with significant redactions set out under paragraphs 12 (5) (a), 12 (5) (b) and 12 (3) of EIR , and also pages 80-125 not provided of the 125 page report- to which there is no explanation. Is this the parts “C” and “D” referred to in the letter of 11 May?
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/3...

Kay Brookes provided a public interest test for these redactions. I am not challenging redactions relating to 12 (3), for named persons in the report, but I am challenging redactions made for job descriptions and titles under this which I consider to be outside the scope of this exemption. .
The fire occurred in January 2009, and some 7 years later the persons involved and named in the report (and redacted), may no longer occupy these roles, so their identification through association with these roles may not be definite.
EIR Guidance set out by the ICO
12. - (5) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(a) a public authority may refuse to disclose information to the extent that its disclosure would adversely affect -
(a) international relations, defence, national security or public safety.
The ICO STATES
“ 6. To engage regulation 12(5)(a), disclosing the requested information must have an adverse effect on at least one of the following interests; international relations, defence, national security or public safety. As explained in ‘How exceptions and the public interest test work in the Environmental Information Regulations’ this sets a high threshold. It has to be more probable than not that the alleged harm would occur if the information were released.”
I do not consider in this request that this high threshold is met. I do not believe that “international relations” are damaged given that this company is based in Oldbury, has been at the site since 1851 and the incident was confined in the area of Oldbury, West Midlands. I do not believe that the “threat” exists to “defence” or “national security” and that this exemption can be misused to withhold blanket information on the basis of the perennial invisible “terrorist.” The only “terrorism” inflicted on the identified residents, businesses and general public that day in the HSE report and fire on January 2nd 2009 came from the site operators themselves and not outsiders. People were confined indoors for long periods and detained until the danger had thought to have passed. Some suffered reported chemical poisoning effects, like those associated with the release of chemical weapons.
“Public safety
49. The term public safety is not defined in the EIR. But in broad terms this limb of the exception will allow a public authority to withhold information when disclosure would result in hurt or injury to a member of the public. It can be used to protect the public as a whole, a specific group, or one individual who would be exposed to some danger as a result of the disclosure.”
It is the release of chemicals that day by Rhodia which caused public safety concerns, not the release of information about that incident requested in this EIR request!
Regulation 12(5)(b) provides an exception from the disclosure of environmental information which would adversely affect :
o the course of justice;
o the ability of a person to receive a fair trial; and
o the ability of a public authority to conduct an inquiry of a criminal or disciplinary nature.
Rhodia Solvay’s trial was over at the release of this information, therefore the first two cannons of this exemption are not relevant. It is the third part which Kay Brookes argues for non- release of information, yet within the report there appear to be “unscrupulous” attempts by the company to underestimate the quantity of phosphine released.
It is very much the case in Quango’s today that regulators are frequently head hunted by companies to provide exactly the advice that Kay Brookes is citing. Some also set up their own “consultancies”-except that they phrase their services to be “complaint” with UK best practice, which in reality means providing their clients with all the loopholes with which they are familiar from their previous role. I am aware that this company uses one Environmental consultancy , the managing director of which wrote policy for the Environment Agency in a previous job role. I therefore find the arguments fairly naïve in this industrial climate. Rhodia/Solvay are a large multi-national, and are well versed in evading such litigations with specialist advice. Of course they claim to be following “best practice”, and regulator “guidance”, even if incidents such as this demonstrate otherwise.
I am directly challenging the non-release of information concerning the quantities of chemicals released in the fire and subsequent toxic gas leak. These occur at pages 7 and 9, 10 of the report. This in my opinion that exemption 12 (5) (a) has been misused by Kay Brookes. It is crucial to the entire case brought by the HSE and it is not in the public interest to withhold this information. The reporting of this event made international news at the time, and is certainly no state secret. Indeed the manufacture of chemicals, particularly phosphorus based materials at the site is well known and in the public domain, and was known to Germany in the Second World War when phosphorus munitions and grenades were made. This is clearly no longer the case, and we are not at war. The company is a private multi- national, and should not enjoy any protection of censorship of its mistakes and accidental releases- through its own criticised operating procedures in this report.
The volume of release of toxic chemicals was always at the centre of my request. It is unlikely given the identified nature of the chemicals, that any of it remains in the air-borne vicinity, or is now harmful to the public- except maybe to those who were exposed to the chemicals at the time. So why after 7 years should this information be redacted? Other release of similar chemicals have been identified at the following sources and at this same site- none of these were censored under the auspices of exemption 12 (5) (a).
Rhodia Consumer Specialties, the forerunner to Rhodia UK Ltd was convicted in 2003 for polluting the ground with a loss of 22 tonnes of polyphosphoric acid at their Trinity Street site which took place in April of the previous year. This related to failure to maintain equipment on site, for failing to notify the agency of a leak and causing acid to enter ground water- relating to an incident where ground was polluted by acid from the plant.
The company were fined a total of £19,151 (and not forgetting 85pence)
Source The Express and Star 2003
As a result of its flammability, white phosphorus is mostly associated with spectacular fires. Two such occurrences occurred in the USA in Brownston, Nabraska, 1 April 1978- An estimated 50,000 litres of phosphorus and debris were scattered over a wide area with 30 acres of crops in surrounding fields set alight. The other at Miamisburg, Ohio on July 8th 1988 also contained 50,000 litres of molten phosphorus on route from The Albright and Wilson plant in Varennes, Quebec, Canada, to Fernald Ohio. A mass evacuation of the built up area was initiated when the tank cars derailed. Many rescue operatives were injured after the phosphorus tank exploded.
Source The shocking history of phosphorus by John Elmsley.
Clearly the incident on 2nd January 2009 was not as serious as these, yet why did the USA release this information in terms of quantity of chemicals released and yet the UK regulator cites reasons of “national security, defence or public safety” for withholding?
Some of the redacted information in the report is already in the public domain and has been reported- “The quantity of 564 kilos of phosphoric acid had been released, the court heard.”
http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2016/...
The quantity is readily accessible on the UK’s largest selling regional newspaper website, and was also reported on the front page in the hard copy of this newspaper on 5th February 2016. .
There is therefore no merit in withholding the other quantities of materials released and redacted by Kay Brookes in this report, and certainly not under exemption 12 (5) (a)- given the widespread public interest.
The Express and Star report 5/2/16 also states
“Only 15 of the 250 strong workforce were on duty at the chemical plant when disaster struck at midday on January 2, 2009 because it was a public holiday.
A 3ft long ball of flame flared from a phosphine converter when the 15-month-old metal bar known as a ‘rodder’ broke, explained Mr Puzey.
A valve was jammed open by the blast allowing extremely flammable phosphine gas to leak and combine with air to create phosphoric acid.
The phosphorous feed was switched off but chemicals already in the converter continued to react and the leak could not be plugged for 90 minutes by which time 564 kilos of phosphoric acid had been released, the court heard.”
This report also appears to address some of the other redactions made in the report which are again misused under 12 (5) (a). It is not in the public interest to withhold information already in the public domain, but which redactions make a report oppressive and more difficult to understand.
Page 15
The number of staff at the Oldbury company site is redacted on page 15, yet they themselves state the number on their own website, as well as the Express and Star article. “The process units” are obviously the other redaction at paragragh 3. It should be noted that site maps of this site are widely available on Sandwell Council’s planning website from past planning applications, and so once again the HSE is misusing the exemption to redact certain information already available in the public domain.
Similarly quantities of chemicals including those released at the site in the fire are obtainable by the Hazardous Substance Consents, of which the HSE are a statutory consultee. It is the case that in all aspects of consultation at this site, the HSE appear to have systematically not objected to increases of storage of identified dangerous chemicals under legislation by this company, and so I would question if the HSE themselves are “a competent authority” in relation to this, especially when something goes wrong in having allowed dangerous chemicals to have been stored there. In this instance, have the HSE not themselves contributed to “national security, defence and public safety” risks?
Pages 17-20 23,25
Again I challenge the redactions here under 12 (5) (a). It does not aid the reader in knowing the cause of the fire and how the process failed, or offer confidence that a similar issue could occur again.
Page 30 paragraph 53. I do not understand why the whole of this paragraph has been redacted under this exemption, and therefore challenge the use of this.
I assume the site redacted in paragraph 55 under 12 (3) to be “ASDA”. I do not believe that such liberal use of the exemption 12 (3) is justified where obvious to the reader, yet it does not help the reading of the report. I am also unsure as to the merit of some of its use at paragraph 56 at page 31.
Page 32
I do not believe it is in the public interest to withold information under 12 (5) (a) concerning calculations offered by Rhodia, and with which the HSE as Competenet authority did not agree with. At best Rhodia’s undervalued amounts and calculations could be said to be disingenuous, at worst dishonest. The public cannot gauge how much their calculations differ from the HSE assessment. This does not give confidence in this site operator in trying to play down the significance of the risk. There are no valid reasons for exemptions to be applied, and this only appears to protect the company from later criticism in trying to deceive the HSE. It is also claimed by Rhodia in the report that there was some inaccurate press coverage of the incident, so therefore it would be in the public interest to disclose the facts of the case to test Rhodia’s claims, which I consider to be without merit.
Page 33 of the report mentions annex 19 concerning dispersion of the release and potential consequences for people on and off site. This is in the scope of my request and therefore I am requesting this report, in addition to the unredacted paragraph 8 under 12 (5) (a). It is difficult for the HSE to state the following as quoted in court by The Express and Star article;
“ “It was an alarming experience and produced physical effects but not long-lasting effects,” said Mr James Puzey, prosecuting.
But he added: “Somebody in the immediate vicinity could have suffered very serious injury or may even have been killed. Solvay fell far short of the expected standard of safety.” “
I therefore believe that the public interest in disclosure of this annex and this paragraph to be strongly in the public interest, as well as fundamental to the information that I requested under EIR.
Page 33 I believe the redactions under 12 (3) paragraph 10 to be “Asda worker” and “2”. Two highways agency staff were reported to have been taken to hospital in reports at the time in the press. There is no reason for withholding information already available and reported.
Page 34-35 again I challenge the use of exemptions 12 (5) (a) and what redactions could cause public harm if they were released?
Page 36 (iii) I again challenge the use of 12 (5) (a) in deleting this entire paragraph.
Page 38 I again challenge the exemption 12 (5) (a) being applied to withhold Rhodia’s estimated loss of phosphine/other chemicals in the incident at paragraph 32 and how this differed from the amount that the HSE estimated in paragraph 40. It is in the public interest to report this loss and for them to be able to quantify it given the prosecuting statement about potential “very serious injury” and “may even have been killed”. Why do the HSE wish to protect the company and not the public by withholding these amounts?
Page 41-42
I again challenge the redactions made under 12 (5) (a).
Page 43
I consider the full page redaction here to be ludicrous. They relate to what the HSE expect of the company, yet under exemption 12 (5) (b) Kay Brookes states that it would be detrimental to release this information as it may allow other companies to gain an insight into HSE investigative techniques. Surely the role of the HSE is to promote legislation protecting the public and those at work. In promoting what is expected of a company, how could this information be misused?
It is also the case that Rhodia from time to time claim to be complaint with HSE legislation. How can this be tested in the eyes of the public if they unaware of what is being asked of them by the HSE? It appears to be an esoteric relationship between regulator and regulated which is not in the public interest but in the interests of both when something goes wrong such as this.
Page 44 details some expectations of the HSE that Rhodia failed to do, so there is inconsistency in the redactions made under 12 (5) (b) and little reason for withholding other actions requested of the company. Similarly I would challenge page 46, 47,48 redactions under 12 (5) (b) for the same reasons.
On page 49 Kay Brookes for some reason redacts most of the page stating “outside scope of request”. This is not a valid redaction criteria under EIR, and therefore I do not understand the purpose of this, and therefore seek the full text or clarification of an exemption for its redaction. In providing the report in relation to my request, the entire report is obviously within the scope of my request, yet cherry picking pieces to leave out makes no sense, and I wonder therefore what has been redacted out of public gaze here. Paragraph 131 omits some information about who at Sandwell council had asked for an update on the incident, yet the exemption does not appear to relate to the further redacted line about timescale being “outside the…..blank blank blank…..”. Again I would seek the redaction to be withdrawn here. Similarly page 52 paragraph 152 appears to make the same unnecessary redaction.
I would challenge the redactions under 12 (5) (b) on pages 51-55 and pages 57-59 and under 12 (5) (a).
I would challenge redactions under 12 (5) (a) concerning phosphine as they are in the public interest to know. It is also within the key scope of my request.
Pages 72-73 appear to provide information concerning Rhodia’s toxic gas alarm/on site arrangements for incidents, but this has been withheld under 12 (5) (a). If this is the case Rhodia themselves have put in the public domain detailed theoretical information about this in a planning application at the site to Sandwell Council.
If this information has been redacted, there is therefore no case for using this exemption and I seek the reinstatement of the text.
I would also challenge the entire redaction of paragraph 40 on page 73 given under 12 (3).
. Page 74 appears to redact information on tackling phosphine fires, yet this information is widely in the public domain and it offers no relevance under this exemption cited !2 (5) (a) to redact it.
I do not believe that exemption 12 (3) is correctly used at paragraph 56 on page 76. I seek an unredacted paragraph.
Page 80 relates to my request and I seek this paragraph to be unredacted.
I am also wondering what are contained in pages 80-125 of the report and if these are the annexes or the redacted sections c and d? I hope that this can be clarified in the internal review.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/r...

Yours faithfully,

Mr Carroll

Health and Safety Executive

Thank you for emailing the Health and Safety Executive. This is an automatic acknowledgement to tell you we have received your email.

Please note this email account is for the submitting of FOI requests via the 'whatdotheyknow' website only. For all other FOIs requests please refer to http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/your-right-to-...

HSE publishes a comprehensive range of information and guidance on our website. You can find out what the health and safety law requires by searching under the relevant topic or industry section, and all of our publications are free to download. HSE does not operate a telephone helpline for general health and safety information. If you need to engage the services of a health and safety consultant, you may wish to visit the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR).

If your email is a request for advice, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/informatio...

If your email is about a concern, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/complaints...

If you wish to report an incident, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/index.htm

Thank you for contacting the Health and Safety Executive.

Health and Safety Executive

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    201605308 Whatdotheyknow.com Mr Carroll Internal review acknowledgement letter.docx

    26K Download View as HTML

Dear Mr Carroll

Please see attached an acknowledgement of your internal review request with a reference number.

Regards

Helen

Helen McGlown | Information Management Unit | Freedom of Information Unit Health & Safety Executive | Knowledge Centre 1G Redgrave Court, Merton Road, Bootle L20 7HS |

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Health and Safety Executive

Dear Mr Carroll

This is just to let you know that due to annual leave of various parties that need to be consulted in HSE for this review, it will be necessary to extend the deadline for response by an additional 20 working days. I apologise for this, but it is important that this is thoroughly reviewed.

Regards

Helen

Helen McGlown | Information Management Unit | Freedom of Information Unit Health & Safety Executive | Knowledge Centre 1G Redgrave Court, Merton Road, Bootle L20 7HS |

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Dear Health and Safety Executive,

Thanks for the confirmation of the internal review extension. Further to this internal review I would add that much of the redacted information under section 12 (5) (a) and as stated by the HSE reported to The European Commission is in fact already in the public domain at the link below.
https://emars.jrc.ec.europa.eu/fileadmin...

This gives significant information which I believe the HSE has misused to withhold information interpreted incorrectly under Section 12 (5) (a)

"A mixture containing ~115kg of phosphorus vapour and ~37kg of phosphine was accidentally discharged. On contact with air, the mixture auto-ignited to produce ~390kg of phosphorus pentoxide which reacted with water vapour in the atmosphere to produce ~538kg of phosphoric acid in the form of a mist over a period of approximately 114mins."

"Site description
The incident occurred in the Phosphine No.1 Plant which is located towards the edge of the site adjacent to a railway. "

"Causes of the accident

The Phosphine No. 1 Plant includes a 'converter' where white/yellow phosphorus is heated to convert it to red phosphorus, and a 'reactor' where red phosphorus is reacted in the presence of other substances to produce phosphine. The two vessels are connected by means of pipe work through which the product from the converter passes into the reactor.

A stainless steel rod enters the converter at one side (by means of a stuffing box) and passes diagonally down into the connecting pipe work, through which it enters the reactor. The rod (by means of forward, reverse and rotational motion) is used on a periodic basis to clear any product blockages that might otherwise form in the connecting pipe work. It is understood that the rod is made up of two parts which are screwed and welded together (end to end) to make one length.

It is understood that the plant was in normal operating conditions when, during a rodding sequence, as the rod withdrew from the converter it pulled clear of the stuffing box, leaving a 3cm orifice through which the dangerous substances discharged, auto-ignited and reacted to form a cloud of phosphoric acid and combustion products.

The phosphorus feed was switched off and emergency cooling was applied to the converter. The flame at the orifice continued for ~114 minutes, and the piece of rod that had pulled clear of the stuffing box was then re-inserted into the orifice.

It was later found that the rod had broken in two, apparently having failed at the welded joint."

"Consequences

The incident occurred at a time of reduced manning over the Christmas/New Year break when apparently only approximately 40 persons were on site. No on-site casualties were reported by the Operator.

In terms of off-site casualties, it is understood that a number of persons attended hospital requiring treatment for coughs & stinging skin (apparently having been affected by the cloud which was reported as leaving the site and drifting over the surrounding area). These persons include four employees of the Highways Agency who were stationed at J2 of the M5 for the purpose of closing the motorway in response to the incident."

Please consider this in your internal review in addition to my original request for one.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Carroll

Health and Safety Executive

Thank you for emailing the Health and Safety Executive. This is an automatic acknowledgement to tell you we have received your email.

Please note this email account is for the submitting of FOI requests via the 'whatdotheyknow' website only. For all other FOIs requests please refer to http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/your-right-to-...

HSE publishes a comprehensive range of information and guidance on our website. You can find out what the health and safety law requires by searching under the relevant topic or industry section, and all of our publications are free to download. HSE does not operate a telephone helpline for general health and safety information. If you need to engage the services of a health and safety consultant, you may wish to visit the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR).

If your email is a request for advice, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/informatio...

If your email is about a concern, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/complaints...

If you wish to report an incident, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/index.htm

Thank you for contacting the Health and Safety Executive.

Health and Safety Executive

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Carroll

Please see attached the response to your internal review request.

Helen

Helen McGlown | Information Management Unit | Freedom of Information
Unit Health & Safety Executive | Knowledge Centre 1G Redgrave Court,
Merton Road, Bootle L20 7HS |

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Mr Carroll left an annotation ()

I have blogged about this request, one of several on this incident at the following link.
http://www.whatliesbeneathrattlechainlag...
It is bizarre to say the least that the HSE reported this incident under EU legislation to the European Commission, to whom I made a separate request for information regards this incident. They provided me with information which reveals several unredacted pieces of information which the HSE claim would be useful to terrorists, and they therefore redacted in this request!
https://emars.jrc.ec.europa.eu/fileadmin...

The EC however responded that the HSE had said that the information was now available at the above link , but only after I had posted this in the internal review request on this website. They make no reference to this in the internal review or provide me with that further information.
Following the HSE's bizarre logic for redacting information, for the reasons cited, they appear to be happy to provide the information "useful to terrorists" directly for the EC to make public for all to read, yet deny UK and local residents the right to know what happened with this event, principally the amount of chemicals released, which may have affected human health.
This will be going to The Information Commissioner.

Health and Safety Executive

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Carroll

 

Further to your recent complaint to the Information Commissioner Office
(ICO) regarding HSE’s handling of your information request.

 

As part of the complaint process HSE has re-visted the information
previously withheld from disclosure and we have amended our original
position and have disclosed additional information to you.  Redacted
 information detailed within the HSE’s investigation report has been
withheld for the reasons previously stated.

 

The ICO will contact you in due course to determine if you are satisfied
with HSE’s revised position.

 

Regards

 

Jane Cloherty / FOI Policy Advisor and HSE Record Manager/ Information
Management Unit

Health & Safety Executive / Knowledge Centre / FOI Unit/ 1.G Redgrave
Court, Merton Road, Bootle, L20 7HS

[1][email address]

 

 

 

 

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Mr Carroll left an annotation ()

Unredacted report after contacting the Information commissioners office reveals

"There was an uncontrolled release of at around 12.06 hrs on 02 January 2009 at the premises of Rhodia UK Ltd (“Rhodia”), Trinity Street , Oldbury West Midlands (i.e Top tier COMAH site) of approximately
(i) 37kg of phosphine (i.e COMAH named dangerous substance); and
(ii) 179kg of Phosphorus vapour 9 (i.e COMAH dangerous substance)

2. Upon contact with air these substances spontaneously ignited to produce approximately
409kg of phosphorus pentoxide 9 (i.e COSSH substance hazardous to health).

3. This would then react with water vapour in the air to produce approximately
564kg of 100% phosphoric acid (i.e COSSH substance hazardous to health.) "

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