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£800,000 fine for LD outbreak

UK: Faltec Europe, a car parts manufacturer, has been fined £800,000 after a legionnaires’ disease outbreak at its factory in South Tyneside.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that between October 2014 and June 2015, two employees, two agency workers and a local resident fell seriously ill with legionnaires’ disease. HSE found the illness was caused by Faltec’s failure to effectively manage its water cooling systems within the factory, causing the legionella bacteria to grow to potentially lethal levels.

The outbreak was traced to two cooling towers on the site in Boldon. The firm subsequently shut the cooling towers down and replaced them with water chillers.

Faltec Europe Ltd of Didcot Way, Boldon in Tyne and Wear pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £800,000. The company was also fined a further £800,000 for an explosion at the factory in an unconnected incident.

In addition to the fines, the company was also ordered to pay costs of £75,159.73 and a victim surcharge of £120.

Related stories:

Adopt R32 or face R410A chaos – 16 April 2018
UK: Leading UK refrigerant distributor Climalife has urged air conditioning customers to move rapidly to R32 to avoid major price increases and supply problems with R410A. Read more…

Aircon industry faces R410A chaos – 10 January 2018
UK: The failure of the refrigeration industry to move away from R404A looks set to cause major problems for the air conditioning sector this year with quotas being placed on the sale of R410A. Read more…

R410A alternatives key to phase down – 2 November 2015
DUBAI: EPEE has identified a switch away from R410A in split air conditioners as one of the keys to achieving the targets set under the F-gas phase down timetable. Read more…

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