Petroineos has been given an official ultimatum to improve safety at its site at Ineos Grangemouth.
The firm has been issued with an improvement notice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after being accused of failing to take “all measures necessary” to prevent major accidents at its site.
Served with the notice late last year, Petroineos has until April to comply or face further action.
The notice to the company states it had failed to take all measures to “prevent major accidents and to limit their consequences for human health and the environment as the company have not ensured moveable electrical equipment provided for use in hazardous areas on the refinery tank farm has been inspected and maintained so as to control the risk of ignition of flammable atmospheres”.
Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald said he was concerned by the matter and feared for the safety of surrounding communities.
He added: “I was disappointed to hear that the refinery site at PetroIneos had been issued with an improvement notice given that any incident, no matter the scale, could prove detrimental to the surrounding communities.
“Health and safety protocols and measures that are not as robust and as tight as they should be are always concerning, and I was alarmed at the nature of these reports in the first instance.
“Having contacted PetroIneos I am satisfied that they have put measures in place to rectify the situation, which I believe was down to the registration of certain types of equipment, and are putting in place the necessary procedures to comply with their improvement notice.
“However, it remains that this should not have happened in the first place, and I look forward to seeing a clean bill of health in the next report from the Health and Safety Executive as soon as it is completed.”
Petroineos confirmed it had already taken steps to deal with the situation.
An Ineos spokesman said: “Petroineos is disappointed the Health and Safety Executive chose to serve an improvement notice on our Grangemouth site on this occasion. We are committed to operating all of our facilitates to the highest standards of health, safety and environmental performance. Safety is our top priority.
“The improvement notice is related to the use of hand held, portable electrical equipment such as intrinsically safe torches within certain parts of our refinery and a formal process for registering these items.
“Where it is to be used in certain areas of the refinery, the company purchases specific and specialist-rated personal portable equipment. There are robust measures in place to ensure only appropriate equipment is utilised, including training of personnel and a permit to work system.
“While this portable electrical equipment is designed to be safely used in such environments as a refinery and have been specifically purchased for these applications we accept that, there was no formal system in place to ensure this equipment was placed on a register and inspected.
“Since the improvement notice was issued, a programme has been put in place to register and inspect all portable electrical equipment.”