World's Largest Clay Brick Maker Fined After Fume Exposures

Wienerberger Ltd, based in Cheshire, pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 following an incident on May 15, 2007 at its Todhills Works in Newfield, County Durham, which resulted in one of its employees being hospitalized. Bishop Auckland Magistrates' Court imposed total fines of £2,000 and ordered £8,516 in costs to be paid.

HSE Inspector Fiona MacNeill who investigated the incident, said, "It is vital for companies to carry out risk assessments if their employees are to be exposed to hazardous substances. In this case, Wienerberger Ltd did not make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk posed by fumes and gases generated by cutting galvanized steel dryer trams using oxy-acetylene, nor did they adequately control that exposure. Fumes from hot cutting galvanized steel contain zinc and are particularly hazardous to people and can cause illness."

Two employees were asked to do a 'one-off' job cutting up galvanized dryer trams using oxy-acetylene burning equipment. The trams are trolleys used to transport bricks through a dryer. However, Wienerberger Ltd neither carried out an assessment of the risks from metal fumes nor took steps to control any resultant exposure.

Both men received high exposures which led them to suffer symptoms of metal fume fever which are 'flu-like' and include coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue and pains in muscles and joints. Symptoms normally subside within 24 to 48 hours.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping there are always questions regarding the requirements and in and outs. IndustrySafe is here to help. We put together this page with critical information to help answer your key questions about OSHA recordkeeping.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We put together a guide that’s easy to digest so you can ensure you're complying with OSHA's training standards.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus