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Firm sentenced after worker dies after inhaling paint stripper

Date:
30 October 2015

An employer has been fined after a worker died after inhaling fumes while cleaning a chemical stripping paint tank at a motor vehicle repair company. 

Dundee Sheriff Court heard how on 18 August 2011, Steven Conway, 33, from Dundee, was employed by Diamond Wheels (Dundee) Limited to undertake general duties at its Dryburgh Industrial Estate, premises. 

These duties included collections and deliveries, removing and replacing tyres, and moving alloy wheels into, and out of, the chemical stripping tank. 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found Mr Conway was provided with no formal training in respect of the use of the chemical stripping tank and the chemical stripping agent used by the company. Instead he was given ‘on the job’ training. 

The court heard Mr Conway, was overcome by dichloromethane vapour while attempting to remove stripping debris from within the chemical stripping tank and died as a result of his exposure to those vapours. 

Diamond Wheels (Dundee) Limited, of Nethergate, Dundee, was fined £50,000, after pleading guilty to offences under Section 2(1) and 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. 

For more information about chemicals at work visit the website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/chemicals/

 Notes to Editors: 

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk 
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/  
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk 
  4. In Scotland the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service has sole responsibility for the raising of criminal proceedings for breaches of health and safety legislation.

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