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West Yorkshire firm prosecuted over unacceptable working conditions

23-07-2012

A Keighley lighting supplier has been fined for subjecting its staff to ‘appalling’ working conditions and exposing them to risks from defective electrics and welding fumes.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector visited the premises of Keylighting Ltd. as a result of a number of complaints about the working conditions at the site on Alincote Street.

A catalogue of health and safety failings was uncovered and specialists were called in to examine the electrical systems, a range of hygiene issues, and to assess the safety management of the welding and powder spraying process.

Bradford Magistrates’ Court was told that during an occupational hygiene inspection in December 2010 an expert found temperatures in various parts of the building ranged from just four degrees centigrade in the toilets to ten degrees in the stores and welding areas.

As a result of these findings five Improvement Notices were served on Keylighting by  HSE.

Seven more Improvement Notices were served by HSE after an electrical specialist found an eight-month-old report from a separate company had revealed 70 defects on the electrical system, seven of them requiring urgent attention. Not one of the faults had been acted upon.

The various investigations also found the toilets in a dire state with blocked sinks, out of order cisterns which were still being used, no running water for hand-washing and rubbish strewn around. They were deemed to be a high disease risk to anyone using them.

In the welding area, there was no ventilation to remove fumes and the protective equipment for the workers was ineffective.   In one of the spray booths, an operator was found with powder contamination around his face, neck and hands and extensive powder dust had escaped from the booth.

Keylighting Ltd., of North Brook Works, Alincote Street, Keighley, was prosecuted by HSE for breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 between 25 May 2010 and 25 January 2011. The company pleaded guilty and was fined £8,000 with £20,000 to pay in costs.

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