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Firm Fined Over Staff Lead Exposure

East Anglian Company Fined



A Norwich-based company and its director have been fined for exposing employees to high levels of lead.

Sheet metal manufacturing company Anglia Lead Ltd exposed its workers to the substance as they cast molten lead into lead sheeting at the Norfolk factory.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that the plant, based in Barker Street, had a number of failings.

Workers were at risk from breathing in dust, ingesting the substance orally when they ate or drank during or after work hours, or absorbing it into their skin.

The company admitted to failing to protect its workers from health and safety failings and breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 at Norwich Magistrates' Court.

It was fined £10,000 and also ordered to pay full prosecution costs of £10,556.

Company director Carlton Edwards admitted the same offence and was fined a further £10,000.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Mark Allen at Law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “We welcome the fine as this is a very serious matter. Exposure to lead can cause a number of potential health problems and is toxic to many organs and tissues including the heart, bones, intestines, kidneys, and reproductive and nervous systems. Symptoms include abdominal pain, headache, anemia, irritability, and in severe cases seizures, coma, and death.

“As such, those responsible for the health and safety of employees working with potentially harmful substances like lead need to ensure that they take suitable and sufficient steps to protect them.”