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Firms Refurbishing Nab Tower Fined After Exposing Workers To Lead

Workers Were Exposed To Harmful Dust And Fumes


Two firms have been fined following a Health and Safety Executive investigation after it was found their workers had been exposed to lead during the refurbishment of Nab Tower in the Solent.

Russell Leggett and Robert Peach both required hospital treatment after inhaling dust and fumes when steel coated in lead paint was cut and removed from the structure in July 2013. Tests discovered traces of lead in their blood far exceeded safe levels.

Inspectors at the HSE found that Bam Nutall Ltd and Four Tees Engineering Ltd were responsible for health and safety failing that led to workers inhaling the harmful fumes and dust.

It was found that Bam Nuttall failed to implement the correct control measures against lead exposure despite knowing the steel was coated in a lead-based paint. Four Tees was found to have overlooked the control measures put in place and failed to ensure its employees had suitable medical surveillance whilst working with a potentially harmful substance.

Exposure to lead can cause a vast range of minor to serious illnesses and symptoms, including headaches, joint pain, memory loss and vomiting, which develop over weeks or months as the lead builds up.

Bam Nuttall, of Camberley, Surrey, was fined a total of £56,000 and ordered to pay £6,165 in costs, while Four Tees Engineering Ltd, of Dewer Close, Segensworth West, Fareham, was fined £14,000 with £2,081.

HSE inspector Andrew Moore said: “The Nab Tower exposure was serious, and demonstrates the need to properly assess and guard against potential inhalation of lead fumes and dust. 

“Duty holders should always err on the side of caution when cutting, stripping or grinding painted material and assume it contains lead unless there is good evidence to prove otherwise. That means having adequate decontamination, surveillance and other control measures in place.”

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