A foundry was sentenced and fined for safety breaches of lead dust exposure. Workers were exposed to harmful dust during a restoration project.
The project involved stripping off the rust and paint from a metal bell and structure. It was only after the project had begun and had been underway for some time that the old paint was found and confirmed to contain lead. The workers who’d been stripping the paint had been using power tools, which produced excessive levels of dust.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to implement industry-standard control measures, such as Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV), have proper cleaning techniques and hadn’t provided personal protective equipment (PPE).
The company pleaded guilty to breaching section 5 (1) of the Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002. As a result, they were fined £13,333 and ordered to pay costs of £6.469.90.
After the hearing, HSE inspector, Jennifer Elsgood, commented: “The company’s procedures for identifying lead, protecting workers from lead exposure during works and providing information and instructions to workers regarding lead were inadequate and resulted in real risk to the health of those workers.
“This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.”
Read the full press release from the HSE, Foundry Fined After Workers Exposed to Lead Dust.
Lead Dust Exposure and You
In the HSE’s INDG305 – Lead and You guidance, “When lead and items containing lead are processed, worked, or recovered from scrap or waste they can create lead dust, fume or vapour.” Your body absorbs lead in dust, fume or vapour forms when it’s inhaled.
Lead can affect your health when it gets in your body by causing headaches tiredness, stomach pains and other symptoms. Long-term lead dust exposure can lead to more serious illnesses such as kidney damage, never and brain damage and infertility.
Employers should put in place safe systems of work and exposure control solutions. In HSE’s L132 – Control of Lead at Work (Third Edition) Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002 – Approved Code of Practice and guidance, it advises: “Employers may use PPE as a secondary protection measure, in combination with other control methods, such as local exhaust ventilation.” The LEV equipment should be maintained and kept in an efficient working order. This means it’s subject to LEV Testing at least once in a 14 month period.
Controlling Lead Dust Exposure
At Auto Extract Systems, we have a number of market-leading dust extraction systems, which can safely capture contaminants and filter the air and leave your workplace pollution-free. We offer a wide variety of different dust extraction solutions for a wide variety of industries and sectors. Find out more about our Dust Extraction solutions.
Request your FREE LEV Site Assessment Today!
If your business participates in activities that involve metalworking fluids, we have the solution for you. We’ll call to arrange a convenient time and date to visit your site. We’ll analyse your working processes, assess the substances used and the contaminants generated. We’ll work out how best to control the dust and fume in a way that’s in line with your COSHH risk assessment. Next, we’ll design you a comprehensive LEV system that adheres to HSG258 guidance and send this you to via email.
We’ll do all this to ensure we fully understand your dust and fume extraction requirements and help you to provide a pollution-free workplace!
This is an amazing service we do for thousands of businesses that undertake processes such as welding and grinding throughout the UK and Ireland every year. We work with such a wide variety of industries, from manufacturing, industrial, woodworking, pharmaceutical and automotive workshops to schools, colleges and military establishments.
Request your FREE, no-obligation LEV site assessment today!
Why Choose Auto Extract Systems?
Auto Extract Systems is the UK’s leading LEV company. Over the last 20 years, we’ve helped thousands of businesses create dust and fume free workplaces. We have steadily been building and diversifying into new industries to help businesses provide pollution-free workplaces with comprehensive LEV (local exhaust ventilation) systems. Our team of P602 qualified LEV system design engineers have over 80 years of combined experience, the know-how, and the ability to specify comprehensive LEV systems to help your business meet HSE’s HSG258 guidance.
As experts in all things LEV, we can help your business become COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) Regulation 2002 compliant with a tailored LEV solution. We provide comprehensive design, installation, maintenance and certification services across a range of industry sectors. Find out more about us here.