Engineering firm fined over Legionnaires' disease risk

20 November 2017

An engineering firm has been fined after failing to adequately control the risk of legionella bacteria arising from the use of a tunnel wash associated with a powder coating process.

Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court heard how De-Met Colourcoat employees and contractors were exposed to the risk of legionella bacteria due to the failure of the company to put in place effective management arrangements to control that risk arising from the tunnel wash at its powder coating plant.

An investigation by the HSE found that the company had no controls in place for the management of risk of legionella bacteria in the water system at Unit G, Grazebrook Industrial Park, Dudley.

De-Met Colourcoat of The Wallows Industrial Estate, Fens Pool Avenue, Brierley Hill, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2 (1) and 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company has been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,067.68.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Paul Cooper said: “This was a case where the company failed to have any controls whatsoever for the management of legionella at the powder coating plant.

“Without identifying and putting in place suitable control measures there is a real risk of Legionnaires’ disease from tunnel washers.”

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