Engineering company fined £20k for failing to control dermatitis risk

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Lymington Precision Engineers has been fined for failing to control the risk of its employees developing dermatitis following exposure to metalworking fluid

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to ensure adequate measures were in place for the control of exposure to metalworking fluids, exposing their employees to the risk of contracting dermatitis.

West Hampshire Magistrates’ Court heard that, between October 2017 and January 2019, employees of Lymington Precision Engineers Co Limited were exposed to metalworking fluid while working on conventional machines such as lathes and milling machines on the company site in Limington, New Forest.

Metalworking fluid is used on the machines to lubricate and cool workpieces and is classed as a substance hazardous to health. Exposure to metalworking fluid can lead to the development of dermatitis and asthma and can have serious, life-changing health effects.

Lymington Precision Engineers Co. Limited of High Street, Rickmansworth, has pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 7(1) of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 and have been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,447.46.

Control exposure to hazardous substances

HSE inspector, Nicola Pinckney, said: “This case could so easily have been avoided by simply implementing correct control measures and appropriate working practices.

“Appropriate controls could include provision and use of well-fitting overalls, use of gloves in contact with contaminated workpieces, avoidance of the use of airlines for cleaning activities, and the provision of an effective skincare regime.

“Control of exposure to hazardous substances is a legal requirement on employers and HSE provides guidance on how control can be achieved.”

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