Wheel refurb worker killed by chemical fumes
A Scottish company has been fined following an investigation into the death of an employee.
The owner of Diamond Wheels (Dundee) Ltd, Paul Marr, admitted failing to comply with health and safety regulations. Steven Conway, aged 33 and a father of two children, climbed into a chemical tank to clean it during August 2011. He was later discovered in the tank, unconscious. Mr. Marr and a co-worker attempted to resuscitate Conway at the scene, but he was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Marr, who was previously the Dundee FC director of football, and his company were fined £50,000.
The Sheriff Court heard that Conway hadn't been given the correct protective workwear, and that the tank had not been ventilated properly. The prosecutor, Emma Stewart, added that no emergency procedures had been put in place for a rescue attempt, no risk assessment had been carried out prior to the cleaning of the tank, and the company hadn't put in place a safe system of work. According to pathologists at the hospital where Conway had been taken, he had been killed by inhalation of industrial strength paint stripper.
Gavin Anderson, the defence advocate, said that everyone who was connected with the company regretted the tragic death of Conway. The fine was levied by Sheriff Alistair Brown. Although Marr was at the court, he wasn't available to make a comment. The family of Conway declined to comment.
The use of PPE and specialist workwear is mandatory when working with hazardous substances, to prevent this type of tragic accident.