Employers who work with silica-based materials have been warned to be on their guard against work injuries and injury compensation claims, after a stonemasons in York was fined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
William Anelay Limited was fined GBP 30,000 after it emerged that two long-serving employees fell ill after being exposed to uncontrolled levels of crystalline silica, which is generated through stone carving without the proper ventilation.
A monitoring survey conducted 14 years earlier detected high levels of airborne silica, but the company failed to take appropriate measures in response to this.
"This was allowed to happen for many years, which has meant that not only do both men have to cope with life-long, serious health issues which will affect them for the rest of their lives, their careers have also been affected," said HSE inspector Julian Franklin.
It follows news that a Glasgow-based recycling company and its director have been fined GBP 145,000 for exposing workers to toxic mercury fumes at a site in Huddersfield.