Updated Sep 18, 2020

HSE fines company £2 million for a jet wash fatality

Leadec Limited, a company specialising in industrial services, has been fined after an employee suffered a fatal injury when cleaning wastewater pipes.

On 18 June 2017 a Leadec employee was using high-pressure water jetting equipment to clean paint residue from pipes at a paint shop at a car manufacturing site in Solihull. During the process, he was fatally struck by a flexi-lance.

During the investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), it was found that the company had failed to put certain control measures in place, such as a pressure regulator or anti-ejection device, to mitigate the risks identified by the company while working with high-pressure water jetting equipment. It was also found that training and supervision was not up to standard when working with high-pressure water jetting equipment.

Leadec Limited pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £2 million pounds and ordered to pay £30,000 in costs.

After the court hearing, the HSE inspector Richard Littlefair commented: "Companies must understand that high risk activities require a thorough risk assessment process and robust management systems to protect their employees from risk of serious or fatal injuries".

"It's not good enough for companies to assume they are doing all they can to control the risk just because there have been no previous incidents".

This incident "could have been prevented had Leadec Limited had the necessary control measures and management systems in place to protect its employees."