On 4 February 2014, the owner of a Nottinghamshire alloy firm was sentenced and fined at Nottingham Crown Court for failing to protect workers from the risks of lead poisoning.
Three employees became seriously ill after working at LDB Light Alloys Ltd, owned by Mansfield businessman Laurence Brown. These included a 28 year old employee from Mansfield, who required specialist treatment at the West Midlands Poisons Unit.
The employee had been working with his two colleagues at the Boughton-based company making lead sheeting from molten lead. He became so ill that he was hospitalised for three weeks in May 2011 and continued to receive treatment for over a year. He was also off work for a year and can never work with lead again.
The court heard that a subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found conditions at Mr Brown’s company were so bad that a Prohibition Notice was served halting all work with immediate effect. All safety equipment and systems were found to be unsatisfactory and no medical surveillance was provided. Rest facilities and hand washing areas were contaminated by lead and there was no toilet facility on site.
Staff had not been told about the effects of lead or how to recognise the symptoms of over-exposure.
Laurence Brown, the owner of LDB Light Alloys Ltd, was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months. He was also fined Ł45,000 and ordered to pay costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
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