A specialist industrial services provider has been ordered to pay more than £2 million after a worker was killed while using jet wash equipment.

On 18 June 2017, Joseph McDonald was working in the paint shop at Jaguar Land Rover’s manufacturing site in Solihull. He was using high-pressure water jetting equipment to clear paint residue from waste-water pipes when flexi-lance kicked back and struck him, causing a fatal injury.

Birmingham Magistrates’ Court was told that although Joseph’s employer, Leadec Ltd, recognised the risks of operating high-pressure water jetting equipment, it had failed to put in place appropriate measures to mitigate the risks. The firm had not implemented or enforced the use of various control measures such as a pressure regulator or an anti-ejection device, which were missing at the time of the incident, and training and supervision were not sufficient.

‘IT IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR COMPANIES TO ASSUME THEY ARE DOING ALL THEY CAN TO CONTROL THE RISK JUST BECAUSE THERE HAVE BEEN NO PREVIOUS INCIDENTS’

Leadec admitted breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was ordered to pay a fine of £2 million plus £30,000 in costs.

‘Companies must understand that high-risk activities require a thorough risk assessment process and robust management systems to protect their employees from risk of serious or fatal injuries,’ said Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Richard Littlefair said after the hearing.

‘It is not good enough for companies to assume they are doing all they can to control the risk just because there have been no previous incidents. Joseph McDonald’s death could have been prevented had Leadec had the necessary control measures and management systems in place to protect its employees.’