Chemical firm aims to calm fears over ‘accident’ leaflet

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A LEAFLET from a local chemical company providing instructions for neighbours in case of a ‘major accident’ has sparked fears.

But the firm has reassured locals that this is simply in response to a change in the law on emergency plans, and has invited them along to a meeting to explain the procedure.

People living within 500 metres of Evans Vanodine in Bamber Bridge have received a leaflet with instructions to prepare for the “very unlikely event of a major accident”.

Derek Rogerson, resident of nearby Greystock Close, says he was contacted by a number of residents who were alarmed.

Derek said: “The way it is worded is quite frightening – it has made people worried.

“It uses words such as ‘loud siren’ and ‘go indoors immediately’. We have no intention of scaremongering, and maybe the company is playing it ultra-safe, but the wording has made a number of residents somewhat uneasy with regards to the chemicals and manufacturing processes on the site.”

Derek is now encouraging residents to attend a meeting, organised by Evans Vanodine, to discuss the matter.

Heath Porter, health and safety officer at Evans Vanodine, said many of these concerns had been addressed in a letter to residents.

He reassured residents that the leaflet was sent out due to a change of legal regulations and that nothing had changed within the company, which has been on the site for 30 years.

The letter, sent out with the residents, says the site is required to produce a plan to deal with the results in the ‘unlikely event’ of a ‘major accident hazard’.

Heath said: “I would wish to stress to all residents of Bamber Bridge who have concerns, to attend the public meeting.”

Emergency services, Lancashire County Council and South Ribble Council will also be present at the meeting.

A spokesman for South Ribble Borough Council, said: “Due to a change in COMAH regulations Evans Vanodine is now required to develop an emergency plan.

“The meeting will provide an opportunity for residents to obtain more information and ask questions.”

The meeting will take place in the Methodist Church Hall, Station Road, at 7pm on Wednesday, September 14.

For more information, contact hsm@evansvanodine.co.uk.