Counting the cost of failures

Lee O’Connell, head of legal and compliance at Eversheds Consulting, recalls examples of where compliance has failed and asks what are the lessons of history?


April 2010: A senior executive of a fuel tank manufacturing business was banned from directing any company for five years after breaching a raft of health and safety regulations. Brian Nixon, from Evesham, Worcestershire, and managing director of Transtore (UK), was also fined £17,000. Workers at Transtore (UK) in Stratford-upon-Avon were exposed to lead and other harmful chemicals while paint was sprayed at the plant without the correct safety measures. In addition, workers were put at risk of falls with no safety equipment provided.

September 2010: The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Justice announced that BP Products North America had agreed to pay a $15-million penalty to resolve federal Clean Air Act violations at its Texas City petroleum refinery. The penalty was both the largest ever assessed for civil violations of the Clean Air Act’s chemical accident prevention regulations, also known as the risk management programme regulations, and the largest civil penalty recovered for Clean Air Act violations at an individual facility.

December 2012: The EPA and US Justice Department announced that Ohio-based Owens-Brockway Glass Container Inc agreed to install new pollution control equipment to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and particulate matter by some 2,500 tons a year. The company, America’s largest glass container manufacturer, which makes mainly jars and bottles, was required to pay a $1.45-million penalty for violating the Clean Air Act at five of its plants.