14 April 2008
Manufacturer made to pay after employees exposed to hazardous fumes
A company has been hit with a fine after two of its workers were exposed to hazardous fumes.
The incident occurred in May 2007 when the employees were asked to do a 'one-off' job which involved cutting up galvanised dryer trams using oxy-acetylene burning equipment.
Both men received high exposures, which led them to suffer symptoms of metal fume fever, such as shortness of breath, tiredness and pains in their joints.
One of the pair had to be hospitalised as a result.
During a hearing at Bishop Auckland magistrates' court, Wienerberger - which claims to be the world's largest clay brick and tile manufacturer - was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £8,516 in costs.
Commenting on the case, Health and Safety Executive inspector Fiona MacNeill stated: "Fumes from hot cutting galvanised steel contain zinc and are particularly hazardous to people and can cause illness."