A company has been fined for Health & Safety failings after 12 children breathed in contaminated compressed air during a pool training session.
The court heard that in 2017, the school pupils became unwell during a scuba diving course in the school swimming pool. 12 pupils were taken to hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning. A 14 year old boy was put into an induced coma, and another pupil was in serious condition.
An investigation was conducted by the Health & Safety Executive, along with Greater Manchester Police. They found that the diving training staff had received refills to SCUBA cylinders supplied by the company in question. The company had not correctly installed and maintained the high-pressure compressor system. There was a fire in the filtration system. This caused contaminated air to be supplied to the diving company who were teaching the children SCUBA skills.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. They were fined £9,300 and were ordered to pay £11,000 costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Specialist Diving Inspector Richard Martins commented: ‘This case highlights the importance of ensuring that compressed breathing air sold to the public is safe. The quality of the air supplied is essential to the preservation of life.’
The Company Director Geoffrey Gordon Shearn of Chester Road in Stockport pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. He was given a 12 month community order. He was also required to do 100 hours of unpaid work and pay £5,000 in costs.
What Can You Do To Avoid This?
Every employer has a level of responsibility for their employees. Ordinarily this includes things such as treating workers with respect and providing equal opportunities for staff. However, one of the main priorities for employers is providing a safe working environment.
This can be achieved in a number of ways. The first is ensuring that your employees have adequate Health & Safety training – the second is making sure that employees are given a suitable risk assessment. This can be created in house, or it can be provided by an external company.
At AW Safety, we provide consultancy services as well as Health & Safety training. We can create high quality risk assessments for our clients, including a detailed evaluation of potential problems and a thorough write-up including suggestions to improve safety across site.
Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you!
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