Yorkshire-based Plant Inspection Services are urging industry vigilance after a Doncaster engineering company was fined when one of their workers was diagnosed with occupational asthma.
Lantern Engineering Ltd was sentenced for health breaches after workers were exposed to metalworking fluid (MWF). The effects of exposure to MWF includes irritation of the skin, occupational asthma, bronchitis and irritation of the upper respiratory tract.
Sheffield Magistrates Court heard that an HSE investigation found a water-mix metalworking fluid (MWF) was in use in the majority of machines.
As of October 2021, Lantern Engineering Ltd was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £7,500 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Laura Hunter commented: “The company’s failure to manage MWF exposed employees to risk.
“Companies should be aware that the HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
A spokesperson for Plant Inspection Services added: “This is an important issue in our industry to bring to light. Employers have a legal duty to protect their workers.
“This case highlights the importance of adequately controlling exposure to hazardous materials that can cause ill health amongst workers.
“Protective measures include risk assessments and control measures as well as the use and maintenance of protective equipment. It is vital that employers consult their workers when assessing risks; effective communication is key in the adoption of control measures.”
For more information on COSSH and LEV testing, visit plantinspectionservices.co.uk.