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March 27, 2020

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in court

Company that owns Liverpool docks not guilty of explosives charge

The company which owns Liverpool’s docks has been cleared of not handling explosives properly.

Albert DockThe HSE launched a prosecution against The Mersey Docks and Harbour Company (MDHC). MDHC, part of Peel Ports, which owns and administers the dock facilities of the Port of Liverpool at Seaforth, initially faced three allegations. The firm was accused of failing to discharge general health and safety to its employees and to non-employees.

According to the first charge, it failed to ensure non-employees were not exposed to risks to their health and safety at Liverpool Steel and Metal Terminal. This allegation related to alleged breaches at The Port of Liverpool in Seaforth, on or before May 28, 2015 and April 19, 2016.

According to the second charge, MDHC also failed to ensure this to employees at the port between July 22, 2010 and April 19, 2016.

MDHC aso faced an allegation of contravening a health and safety regulation, relating to its “explosive licence”, between July 22, 2010 and April 19, 2016. According to this charge, it “failed to discharge the duty imposed by Regulation 34(1) of the Dangerous Substances in Harbour Area Regulations 1987 by failing to comply with the conditions attached to the licence” at the port.

The company denied any wrongdoing and the prosecution dropped the third charge, relating to its “explosive licence”, ahead of a trial at Liverpool Crown Court. Two weeks into the trial at the conclusion of their case prosecution lawyers accepted they could not prove any risk.

Judge Robert Trevor-Jones directed the jury to return not guilty verdicts on the two counts. MDHC was acquired by Peel Ports, part of the property and transport group Peel Holdings, now the Peel Group, in 2005.

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