Employers are being reminded that they face injury compensation claims and fines if they fail to ensure the safety of their workers after two workers were killed in a Herefordshire factory.
Bodycote HIP of Macclesfield was fined GBP 533,000 and ordered to pay costs of GBP 200,000 following the deaths of the two men at its manufacturing plant.
An investigation found that the company’s works manager and maintenance engineers were found collapsed on the stairs leading to a concrete-lined pit into which argon gas had leaked from a pressure vessel.
The pit’s oxygen alarm system was switched off and the ventilation system was not in operation.
"Confined spaces can be found in a wide range of workplaces and these deaths should serve as a reminder to all industries of the dangers of this type of work," commented Health and Safety Executive inspector Luke Messenger.
The warning follows the news that inadequate safety procedures led a teenage labourer to be crushed to death on a building site in Hadley Wood.