Legionnaires Disease probe sees five firms deny charges

Five companies were charged at Edinburgh Sheriff Court
Five companies were charged at Edinburgh Sheriff Court
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Five companies face charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act following an outbreak of Legionnaires Disease in Edinburgh which saw four people die.

They firms are accused of leaving people exposed to the disease over a four year period in the city’s Gorgie area.

They have not been charged over the deaths in 2012 or the outbreak which saw a further 92 people infected.

The source of that was never identified and the Crown ruled at the time there was no evidence to justify any prosecution.

Today’s charges relate instead to the maintenance and cleaning of cooling towers on premises around Wheatfield Road.

North British Distillery, Macfarlan Smith, Ashland Industries, Pera Services and Chemtech Consultancy are accused of exposing people to the risk of Legionella bacteria between 2009 and 2013.

At the city’s Sheriff Court legal representatives of the companies pleaded not guilty to the indictment.

It is alleged the companies failed to ensure the safety of employees and members of the public from the risk of exposure to legionella bacteria from cooling towers at property in Wheatfield Road.

Sheriff Alison Stirling was told the trial could last up to 12 weeks.

A further First Diet will be held on January 25 next year.

No date was set for the trial.