Types of industrial accidents which could result in environmental pollution
Since the introduction of the Health and Safety etc Act in 1974, the UK has seen as reduction in fatal accidents at work. However, the risk of industrial accidents is still present in the workplace and both employees and employers have a duty to identify any potential dangers and take steps to prevent these serious work accidents from occurring.
The government recognises that preparation is vital for a variety of different industrial accidents and environmental pollution hazards. Industrial accidents involving environmental pollution that may occur include the following:
- Fire or explosion in the gas and oil industry
- Releases of toxic chemicals, radioactive material and a controlled biological substance
- A major contamination incident with widespread implications for the food chain
- Maritime pollution, such as a major crude oil spillage
- A major land contamination as a result of chemical spillage
- A major air quality incident
- An industrial explosion
As well as the risk of damage to wildlife and the environment, after an industrial accident, workers, bystanders and people that live nearby could be exposed to specific personal injuries.
For example, a fire or explosion at an onshore pipeline could affect as much as 1km around the site and result in approximately 100 fatalities and personal injuries to 500 more. Explosions would most likely lead to crush injuries, cuts, contusions and burn injuries.
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