Metalwork safety reminder after entire workforce exposed

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Metalwork safety reminder after entire workforce exposed

7th December 2009

Workers who use metalworking fluids have been urged to ensure they take the correct safety precautions after the entire workforce of a Barnsley company was exposed to a dangerous mist.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said that over a five month period, employees at the company were exposed to a mist emitted from more than 100 metalwork machines. The company used water-based chemicals during the manufacture of bearings for the automotive industry, a process which involved spraying metalworking fluid onto fast rotating tool pieces at high pressure.

This created a mist which is a known cause of occupational asthma and extrinsic allergic alveolitis (EAA).

Bridget Collier, industrial disease specialist with Fentons Solicitors LLP, said the danger was in the mist potentially being breathed in by employees.

"In this case, it appears there was no procedure or equipment in place to contain or extract the mist away from workers," said Bridget. "Research has shown that exposure to metalworking fluids can cause serious respiratory conditions, and the apparent large number of cases at this company is shocking.

"Every employer has a responsibility to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all employees while at work," she said.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of industrial illness and occupational diseases.

If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.