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Firm fined £1.6m following legionella outbreak and factory explosion

21 May 2018

Newcastle Crown Court has fined a car parts firm for two major safety failings at its facility in Boldon, South Tyneside.

Between October 2014 and June 2015, four staff and a nearby resident became seriously ill with Legionnaire's Disease.

The outbreak was traced to the company's cooling towers and remedial action was then carried out to prevent further problems occurring.

Additionally, a worker suffered serious burns in October 2015 due to an explosion at the company's factory.

Faltec Europe pleaded guilty to health and safety breaches and received a fine of £800,000 for each of the two cases.

The court was also told of two other health and safety issues occurring at the site, including the death of a worker in 2006 and another incident in 2013, when a worker lost an eye after being hit by a compressed air hose.

A spokesperson from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) confirmed the company had improved its control measures to "better manage the legionella risks at the site.

"Furthermore, where dangerous substances create a fire and explosion risk, there needs to be adequate control measures in place to prevent an explosion or mitigate the consequences."

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