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£2 million fine after fatal incident using high pressure water jetting equipment

A specialist industrial services company has been fined after a worker suffered a fatal injury whilst cleaning waste-water pipes.

Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard how Joseph McDonald, an employee of Leadec Limited, was using high-pressure water jetting equipment to clear paint residue from pipes in the paint shop at a car manufacturing site in Solihull. During the process Mr McDonald was struck by the end of flexi-lance, causing a fatal injury.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company recognised the risks of operating high-pressure water jetting equipment, but they had failed to put in place appropriate measures to mitigate the risks. They had not implemented or enforced the use of various control measures such as a pressure regulator or an anti-ejection device, which were missing at the time of the incident and, training and supervision were also not up to standard.

Leadec Limited of Leadec House, Academy Drive, Warwick pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £2,000,000 and ordered to pay £30,000 in costs.