Five infected with Legionnaires' Disease
Posted on 7th June 2023
Riaar Plastics LTD has been fined £50,000 after five people became infected with Legionnaires' disease from its water cooling towers.
The "extremely poor condition" of the plastic companies cooling towers led to one person being admitted to intensive care in September 2020.
Principal Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Jenny Skeldon said they were the worst she had encountered.
The West Bromwich firm pleaded guilty to health and safety breaches at Birmingham Magistrates' Court.
The bacteria grew in the pipes inside the cooling towers which were in very poor condition putting the employees and members of the public at risk of significant ill health, the HSE said.
The company admitted breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was also ordered to pay £11,000 in costs at the court on 2 June.
“The condition of the cooling towers at this site was the worst I had ever seen," Ms Skeldon said:
"The Legionella exposure risk to employees, site visitors, neighbouring duty holders and members of the public was extreme in nature.
“Exposure to Legionella can cause death or serious illness where water cooling systems are not been managed effectively.
"It is really important that proactive management of the risk from Legionella bacteria is taken seriously."
All those taken ill fully recovered, the HSE said.
The person taken into intensive care spent two weeks in hospital before being discharged.
Tagged as: 2023, bacteria, Cleaning, coolingtower, GES Water, Health & Safety, HSE, Legionella, legionellaawareness, LegionellaTech, waterhygiene, watersampling, watersystemmanagement, WestBromwich
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