A DUDLEY engineering firm has been fined £10,000 after it failed to prevent the risk of exposure to dangerous bacteria in a tunnel wash at its powder coating plant.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that De-Met Colourcoat Limited, based at Grazebrook Industrial Park, Peartree Lane, had no controls in place to manage the risk of legionella bacteria in the water system.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching two sections of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court and was ordered to pay costs of £5,067.68 in addition to the fine.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Cooper, said: “This was a case where the company failed to have any controls whatsoever for the management of legionella at the powder coating plant.
“Without identifying and putting in place suitable control measures there is a real risk of Legionnaires’ disease from tunnel washers.
“It is therefore of the upmost importance to control these risks by introducing appropriate measures.”
A spokesman for De-Met Colourcoat Ltd told the News: “Whilst the company respects the decision of the court and fully recognises its culpability in not having the required risk assessment paperwork in place, we remain proud of the high standards of operational health and safety we maintain at the business.
“Tests for the presence of legionella before and since the breach have proven negative and at no stage was there any evidence that legionella was present in the tunnel wash.