Boss of factory where Daniel Timbers and Barry Joy died had no health and safety training

29-year-old Daniel Timbers (left) and 56-year-old Barry Joy (right). Picture: Norfolk Police

29-year-old Daniel Timbers (left) and 56-year-old Barry Joy (right). Picture: Norfolk Police - Credit: Archant

A company boss had no health and safety qualification at the time when two of his workers died in an explosion - despite being advised to go on a course in three separate audits, an inquest heard.

Emergency services and staff at Spar Road, Norwich after the reported explosion and fire believed to

Emergency services and staff at Spar Road, Norwich after the reported explosion and fire believed to be at the Harford premises. Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Barry Joy and Daniel Timbers had been working in the paint shop of the factory on Spar Road at the time of an explosion and 'fierce fire' on July 13, 2015.

Managing director Steve Kidd refused to answer several questions from area coroner Yvonne Blake under advice from his legal representative, but admitted he did not know the company had a health and safety policy at the time of the fire.

His only relevant qualification is an IOSH course, completed the year after the explosion.

Highlighting 'serious concerns' raised by the previous health and safety co-ordinator Marc Smith, Ms Blake asked whether steps had been taken to address them.

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Mr Kidd refused to answer.

'If there had been any problems with the spray booth I would have expected Barry Joy to fill out a maintenance request form,' he told the jury.

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The court heard from his representative that there has been a prohibition notice on the company in relation to spraying since the incident.

Previously, the court heard how paint sprayers had repeatedly raised health and safety concerns at the factory.

Experienced paint sprayer Nick Timbers told Norfolk Coroner's Court how the electrics in the new spray booth, bought from RAF Lyneham and reassembled at the factory on Spar Road, would trip 'regularly', around three or four times a week.

It was still happening the week before the incident.

There was also a 205 litre drum of paint thinners and solvents for cleaning spray guns, kept inside the booth.

'I pointed out that the drum shouldn't be in there because it is a big potential fire hazard,' said Mr Timbers.

'The electrics would trip out in the booth. It would be pitch black and we would have to make our way out to flick a switch. It was quite regular.

'We were told they would get it looked at but it was never sorted out. The problems just carried on. It got to the point we would take our health and safety concerns to [production manager] Steve Pleasance. Chris Brown [foreman and health and safety officer] wasn't interested.'

The inquest continues.

Barry Joy had been to funeral of Kevin Holmes three days before accident

The layout of the new Harford Attachments factory was put together with the help of Kevin Holmes, according to the managing director of the company.

The 46-year-old had left the company by the time of the explosion, and Barry Joy had been to his funeral on the Friday before he died.

Mr Holmes was working on the trailer under the ramp at GB Digger and Plant Hire on Shorthorn Road in Stratton Strawless when it fell on him on March 3, 2015.

An inquest heard the fitter/welder, from Mountfield Avenue, had been working on the trailer after it had suffered a hydraulic leak.

Ivan Brooke, HSE inspector, said Mr Holmes was a 'competent person' who had previous training in hydraulic hose replacement. They also found there was 'good' health and safety systems in place at GB Digger Hire.

The jury of seven women and three men concluded that he died as a result of an accident.

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