A bakery company in East Yorkshire was fined for safety breaches after exposing its employees to flour dust and not having any proper means of air filtration or respiratory protection in place.
Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard that from April 2002 to April 2016 employees were consistently exposed to respiratory hazards, with some being medically diagnosed with occupational asthma.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that there were no effective methods of control to prevent the dust entering employee lungs. Effective methods of control include extractor fans and Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE).
Coopland & Son Ltd based in Scarborough pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £159,080 and ordered to pay a further £4,594 in costs.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Geoff Fletcher commented: “Exposure to flour dust in an industrial setting can cause serious and debilitating health effects.
“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
When air purification is not possible through extractor fans, Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) can be essential for protecting the health of your workers.
For more information on what RPE would be adequate for your workplace and suitable for your workforce, get in touch.