Manufacturer fined after worker developed occupational asthma

A manufacturer has been fined for exposing a worker to fumes that led to them developing occupational asthma.

When the soldering worker was first employed, the firm did not have an extraction system to remove rosin-based solder flux fumes – a hazardous substance generated and released during soldering that can cause asthma and dermatitis.

The company later installed a small benchtop air displacement box (ADB) to extract fumes.

But an investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found the control measures were inadequate for soldering work because the ADB acted as a disperser rather than extractor.

Employees were therefore exposed to harmful fumes.

Hazardous substance

Bayham Limited admitted breaking the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002.

It was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay more than £6,000 costs.

The HSE say appropriate local exhaust ventilation and other control measures need to be in place for employees carrying out soldering work.

The HSE added employers should be aware it will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those falling below the required standards.

Director of Health & Safety Services

Nick Wilson

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