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.”