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Christopher Hutton, owner of Auto Bodyworks and Wheel Clinic – the repair company in question - was recently fined for failing to satisfy the requirements of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The owner of the car repair company – located in Chesterfield – pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, section 33 (1)(g). Following an inspection of the premises belonging to Hutton on April 30, 2014, the HSE requested information from him to indicate that all legal requirements had been satisfied within the car body shop. The information wasn't forthcoming so Improvement Notices were issued by the organisation.

The first notice called for health surveillance for workers who had contact with isocyanates, commonly found in paints - frequently the cause of asthma in the workplace. The second notice requested a thorough testing and examination of the booth used for spraying, this was to see to it that the booth adequately prevents employees from exposure to substances which are deemed to be hazardous. The HSE informed Chesterfield Magistrate's Court that despite several opportunities, Hutton had taken a fruitless approach with his compliancy.

Hutton pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay the costs of £1,600 and fined £4,000. Edward Walker, the HSE inspector, commented on the case, saying:

“Exposure to isocyanate containing paints is the main cause of occupational asthma in the UK. There are well established standards to protect the health of employees which Christopher Hutton had failed to achieve.”

Employers are obliged to provide suitable protection from hazardous substances, including the use of special workwear and PPE (personal protective equipment).

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