Waste recovery: duties under safety legislation

A company supplying waste for recovery may commit a criminal offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 if it fails to warn its customer of the potentially dangerous properties of the material, according a recent ruling by the Scottish High court of Judiciary.

In Sterling-Winthrop Group Ltd v Allen ((1987) Scots Law Times 652), the appellant company, Sterling-Winthrop, had supplied waste propanol solvents arising from nixodane manufacture to Lothian Chemical Co, for recovery of the solvents in steam-heated distillation units. According to the Crown, Lothian was not provided with any information concerning the unstable nature of nixodane under heat, and subsequently an explosion took place dur

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