THE company that runs Drax Power Station has been charged with failure to ensure the safety of its employees when using biomass.

Drax Power Ltd is also alleged to have failed to properly assess the risk to workers involved with using the green fuel.

The Health and Safety Executive has brought the prosecution and describes biomass containing wood dust in the charges as a "substance hazardous to health".

Leeds Magistrates Court sent the case to Leeds Crown Court for trial.

The company, which is based at Drax Power Station, will appear before the higher court for a plea and trial preparation hearing on December 31 when it will be expected to enter its plea.

In the charges, the company is alleged to have failed to ensure as far as was reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of all its employees when working with biomass.

It is also alleged to have failed to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the health risk that working with biomass containing wood dust could expose employees to.

The charges were brought under the Health and Safety Act.

Drax Power Station, which was coal-fired, has been converting to biomass for some years.