25th Oct, 2020

Company fined £2million after worker suffers fatal injury while cleaning waste water pipes

Ross Crawford 24th Sep, 2020 Updated: 24th Sep, 2020

A COMPANY has been fined after a worker suffered a fatal injury while cleaning waste-water pipes.

Birmingham Magistrates Court heard how, on June 18, 2017, Joseph McDonald, an employee of specialist industrial services company Leadec Limited, was using high-pressure water jetting equipment to clear paint residue from pipes in the paint shop at a car manufacturing site in Solihull.

During the process Mr McDonald was struck by an attachment at the end of a hose causing a fatal injury.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company recognised the risks of operating high-pressure water jetting equipment but they had not put in place appropriate measures to mitigate the risks.

They had not implemented or enforced the use of various control measures such as a pressure regulator or an anti-ejection device, which were missing at the time of the incident and, training and supervision were also not up to standard.

Leadec Limited of Leadec House, Academy Drive, Warwick pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and were fined £2million and ordered to pay £30,000 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Richard Littlefair said: “Companies must understand that high risk activities require a thorough risk assessment process and robust management systems to protect their employees from risk of serious or fatal injuries.

“It is not good enough for companies to assume they are doing all they can to control the risk just because there have been no previous incidents. Joseph McDonald’s death could have been prevented had Leadec Limited had the necessary control measures and management systems in place to protect its employees.”

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