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Health & Safety Newsletter May 2018

Local exhaust ventilation exposed workers to hazardous solder fumes

A soldering worker was employed by a manufacturer of magnetically coupled tank contents gauges and liquid level control equipment in 1975. There was no extraction system in place to eliminate rosin-based solder flux fumes. The fumes can cause dermatitis and occupational asthma.

In the 1990s, the company installed a small air displacement box to extract the fumes. This however, had dispersed them and   employees were exposed to the hazardous fumes.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching reg 7(1) of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002.

It received a fine of £12 000 and ordered to pay more than £6 000 in costs.

Co-op fined for allowing use of faulty roll container

The supermarket chain has been prosecuted after a member of staff has attempted to navigate the roll container, which overturned and fell on her legs which resulted in multiple leg fractures.

The trolley contained heavy products such as milk and the weight contributed to the severity of the injuries.

Investigators discovered that days before the accident occurred in February 2016, staff has identified that the roll container was defective. The employees were either not aware about the procedures that the Co-op had in place to prevent the defective trolley from being used or they did not follow them.

The Co-op pleaded guilty to breaching 2(1) of the Health and  Safety at Work Act. The judge fined the chain £333 334.

Construction company fined £900 000 for painter’s roof fall

The painter, who had been subcontracted from a third company, was carrying out remedial works when he fell around 3 metres through a ceiling into a waiting room at East Croydon train station in January 2015.

In December 2014, the painter and his colleague were given a site induction when they arrived for work. However, they were not briefed on the risk assessment which required work over the platforms during the night, for workers to wear full body harnesses and for the waiting room below to be locked.

When they returned to work in January, they were not warned about the fragility of the roofs. The painter lost his footing and fell through the suspended ceiling which was unguarded.

The court heard a crash deck had previously been installed above the platform buildings but were removed to allow the works to finish. Plywood working platforms were specified to replace the deck above the ceiling but this had not been installed in the area where the painter fell and no warning signs, tape or barriers had been erected.

The company admitted charges under s 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. They were fined £900 000 and the subcontractor had to pay £7 157 in combined costs.

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