Sunday, 30 August 2015

Coilcolor fined £103,000 for cooling tower failings

Coilcolor Limited in Newport, a steel coating company in Newport, Gwent, was fined £103,393 (inc. costs) for failing to manage the risks from legionella bacteria from two cooling towers over a period of five years.
The circumstances were:
  • Coilcoler have cooling towers which require management to prevent the growth of legionella bacteria which is carried in water droplets. This can lead to fatal illnesses.
  • They had been operating two cooling towers on site without taking appropriate measures to control the risk of proliferation of the bacteria since 2009.
  • The risks from the operation of the cooling towers had not been assessed.
  • There was no written scheme.
  • The towers were in poor condition.
    Drift eliminators to reduce the spread of aerosol were missing.
  • There was no water treatment programme in place.
  • Staff had not been trained to appreciate and manage the risks.
  • Prohibition Notices were immediately served by the HSE inspector that prevented the cooling towers being used until all appropriate controls were put in place. 
  • Improvement Notices were then served with regard to risk assessment and management. 
The HSE Inspector said: 
“Operating cooling towers, without proper controls in place can present a significant risk to employees and members of the public; in this case the company operates next to a housing estate and within one kilometre of the Royal Gwent Hospital.” 

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