A car bodysprayer developed occupational asthma after using paints that contained isocyanates without adequate controls measures in place, a court has heard.
Car dealership Harwoods admitted breaching r 7(1) of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations at West Hampshire Magistrates’ Court last week.
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigators found that between October 2011 and March 2018, an employee of Harwoods at Audi Southampton had been spraying using paints that contained isocyanate.
The court was told the company had failed to ensure adequate control measures were in place to minimise exposure to paints containing isocyanates, therefore exposing the employee to the risk of asthma.
Isocyanates are classed as substances hazardous to health, exposure to which can lead to the development of asthma which can have serious life-changing effects.
“This serious health condition could so easily have been avoided by simply implementing correct control measures and appropriate working practices," commented HSE inspector Nicola Pinckney after the hearing.
“Controlling employee exposure to hazardous substances is a legal requirement on employers and the HSE provides guidance on how control can be achieved.
“Appropriate controls could include use of a spray booth to carry out the paint spraying, use of a suitable air-fed respirator, checks to ensure equipment was adequately maintained and training provided to ensure the employee knew the risks and how to control them.”
The Worthing-based firm was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay £2,657 costs.