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    COMPANY IGNORED HSE ON SILICA DUST ACTION

    Worktop manufacturer failed to control dust and manage ventilation

    A kitchen worktop manufacturer has been sentenced for non-compliance with HSE Improvement Notices and failure to effectively manage health and safety in March 2016 at the company premises in Sheffield.

    Sheffield Magistrates heard that an HSE inspection found a poor standard of health and safety management including significant accumulations of dust around the premises.

    Local exhaust ventilation units present were not subject to thorough examination and test and no risk or hazardous substance assessments had been completed.

    Five improvement notices issued

    The company was served with five Improvement Notices requiring thorough examination of local exhaust ventilation, monitoring for dusts including respirable crystalline silica, a system to manage respiratory protective equipment and assessments of the risk from noise and hand arm vibration.

    The Improvement Notices were hand delivered to site and discussed with two of the directors. Despite extensions to the compliance dates for all the notices being given, repeated phone calls, emails and letters, no appeals or evidence of compliance was ever received by HSE. A company representative attended an interview under caution but did not provide any reasonable explanations for the non-compliance.

    • The Solid Surface Shop UK Ltd – previously based at Henry Street, Sheffield pleaded guilty to breaching a single charge under Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £6181.51 in costs.

    After the hearing, HSE inspector Laura Hunter commented:

    “Improvement notices must be complied with.Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards”

     

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