THE company bidding to build a controversial incinerator at its Tockwith site has been fined £40,000 for health and safety offences involving its handling of flammable chemicals and its equipment.

BCB Environmental Management Ltd, of Marston Business Park, pleaded guilty to three breaches of health and safety regulations after an arsonist used the chemicals to start a blaze at the site.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told Harrogate magistrates the company created a risk that drums containing flammable liquids could have ignited because they were processed close to unprotected electrical equipment.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Stephen Brittin said: “As a hazardous waste specialist should have been well aware of the relevant legislation and should never have handled flammable material in this way.” The company was fined £40,000 plus £6,100 in prosecution costs. The breaches came to light because the arson attack led to a joint investigation by North Yorkshire Police and the HSE. A man was later convicted of arson for the blaze.