Warnings Remain In Place At South Tyneside Factory Linked To Legionnaires’ Outbreak

Faltec Europe Limited Closed Cooling Towers After Five People Contracted Disease


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463

A safety notice remains in place at a South Tyneside factory where five cases of Legionnaires linked to the company’s cooling towers were reported.

Four workers at Faltec in Boldon, and one local resident whose home is near the site, contracted the disease and an investigation traced the outbreak to the cooling towers and ordered four of them to be closed down.

The company has confirmed that the towers have now been closed and replaced with sealed water chiller units.

Faltec must now satisfy experts at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that there is no threat of further infection before the prohibition notice is removed and the cooling towers can be brought back into use.

Amandeep Dhillon, an expert public health lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, who represents those affected by a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Stoke in 2012 that led to three fatalities, said: 

Expert Opinion
We welcome the investigation that took place into this outbreak and the fact that the source of the bacteria was identified quickly and closed down.

“Legionnaires’ disease is a serious lung infection and can lead to long-term health issues and fatalities in some cases and should not be downplayed.

“It would appear that HSE and Faltec have acted quickly to reduce the risks posed to staff and local residents and it is vital the prohibition notice remains in place until the risk to health and safety has been eradicated.

“The focus now should be on the future and ensuring that the correct processes and measures are in place to prevent similar outbreaks.
Amandeep Dhillon, Partner