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Workers' injuries lead to fines for two Derbyshire companies

Two companies have been fined following separate incidents at a Derbyshire lead smelting works.

Both incidents happened at HJ Enthoven Ltd in South Darley, near Matlock. The first happened on 19 August 2009 when an employee suffered severe burns following an explosion at the site.

The 43-year-old worker was transporting molten lead slag, with an estimated temperature of more than 800 degrees Celsius, on a fork lift truck. The pan holding the molten material fell off the truck, spilling the liquid on to the ground where it ran into a drain.

He suffered severe burns to his face, arms, chest, back and left foot which needed months of treatment though he has since returned to work at the company.

The second incident happened on 7 May 2010 when an employee of Key Engineering (Chesterfield) Ltd was investigating a fault on an overhead travelling crane. The 27-year-old worker was on the crane gantry while testing it.

As the crane ran along the tracks, he rested his right arm on top of the control panel. As it neared the end of the bay the clearance between the control panel and a roof beam narrowed to a few millimetres, trapping his arm.

The man suffered severe crush injuries, had to have four plates in his right arm along with a number of skin grafts and he suffered tendon damage. It is not known if he will regain full use of his arm.

A subsequent HSE investigation found neither company had carried out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and HJ Enthoven had failed to inform Key Engineering about the narrow gap.

Key Engineering (Chesterfield) Ltd, of Brearley Street, Old Whittington, Chesterfield pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for the incident involving the crane and was £5,000 with costs of £2,305

HJ Enthoven Ltd, of Daley Dale Smelter, South Darley, Matlock, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for the same incident and was fined £5,000.

The company was also fined £10,000 after admitting to breaching Section 2 (1) of the same act for the incident which led to the explosion.

The total costs for HJ Enthoven Ltd were £8,256.


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