A company that tests ventilation systems has been fined for putting hundreds of workers at risk of serious lung diseases.
Airtec Filtration Ltd was used by businesses across the UK to test extract ventilation systems, which reduce exposures to airborne contaminants in a workplace.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the firm, which is based in St Helens, Merseyside provided its customers with inaccurate test results, potentially leaving staff in those businesses unaware of the risks they faced.
In one incident, when assessing a car manufacturing business, the Airtec engineer failed to identify the presence of rubber fumes, which are carcinogenic and can lead to cancer.
The company claimed their work met the requirements of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002.
However, the testing the testing reports provided to businesses were insufficient as hazardous substances were not adequately identified, and the local exhaust ventilation tests were not carried out correctly.
HSE inspectors visited multiple sites, where testing was undertaken by Airtec and at each one a number of significant and common failings were found.
Anyone who is concerned about possible exposure to hazardous substances from work activities is advised to consult their GP and ask for a note to be made in their personal record about possible exposure, including date(s), duration, type of substance and likely exposure levels (if known).
In some circumstances, the GP may refer them to a specialist in respiratory medicine.
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