Posted in | News

Fine For World's Largest Brick Maker for Hazardous Fumes

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is warning employers about working with dangerous substances without a proper health and safety assessment following the prosecution of the world’s largest clay brick and tile manufacturer.

Wienerberger Ltd, based in Cheshire, pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 following an incident on May 15, 2007 at its Todhills Works in Newfield, County Durham, which resulted in one of its employees being hospitalised. Bishop Auckland Magistrates’ Court imposed total fines of £2,000 and ordered £8,516 in costs to be paid.

HSE Inspector Fiona MacNeill who investigated the incident, said: “It is vital for companies to carry out risk assessments if their employees are to be exposed to hazardous substances. In this case, Wienerberger Ltd did not make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk posed by fumes and gases generated by cutting galvanised steel dryer trams using oxy-acetylene, nor did they adequately control that exposure. Fumes from hot cutting galvanised steel contain zinc and are particularly hazardous to people and can cause illness.”

Two employees were asked to do a ‘one-off’ job cutting up galvanised dryer trams using oxy-acetylene burning equipment. The trams are trolleys used to transport bricks through a dryer. However, Wienerberger Ltd neither carried out an assessment of the risks from metal fumes nor took steps to control any resultant exposure.

Both men received high exposures which led them to suffer symptoms of metal fume fever which are ‘flu-like’ and include coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue and pains in muscles and joints. Symptoms normally subside within 24 to 48 hours.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this news story?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type
Submit
Azthena logo

AZoM.com powered by Azthena AI

Your AI Assistant finding answers from trusted AZoM content

Your AI Powered Scientific Assistant

Hi, I'm Azthena, you can trust me to find commercial scientific answers from AZoNetwork.com.

A few things you need to know before we start. Please read and accept to continue.

  • Use of “Azthena” is subject to the terms and conditions of use as set out by OpenAI.
  • Content provided on any AZoNetwork sites are subject to the site Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.
  • Large Language Models can make mistakes. Consider checking important information.

Great. Ask your question.

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.