Company director admits safety breaches over factory explosion which killed two employees
PUBLISHED: 11:38 31 May 2018 | UPDATED: 08:19 01 June 2018
The director of Norwich company Harford Attachments has admitted two health and safety breaches over an explosion and fire at a factory which killed of two of his employees.
Barry Joy and Daniel Timbers had been working in a spray booth at the factory on Spar Road on July 13, 2015 when the explosion occurred.
Almost three years after their deaths, managing director of Harford Attachments, Steve Kidd, appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court this morning on behalf of the company to admit two breaches of health and safety practices.
He admitted failing to ensure both workers were not exposed to risk of death or serious injury from fire or explosion, and failing to control sources of ignition present in the paint spray booth and surrounding areas.
Matthew Taylor, prosecuting on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive, told the court: “The offending occurred over a period between February 9, 2015 and July 13, 2015.
“The incident itself occurred on July 13, 2015 and involved an explosion and a fire at a the premises of Harford Attachments on Spar Road.
“Two employed factory workers, Barry Joy, 56, and Daniel Timbers, 28 at the time, were working in a spray booth at the company premises. They were spraying steel buckets for construction excavators. They were going about their normal business but both employees died as a result of the explosion. “The Health and Safety Executive conducted a very detailed investigation. A flammable vapour had been created by the gun cleaning process which ignited due to various sources of ignition. It is evident there was an inconsistent and incomplete approach to health and safety which resulted in a lack of control measures or safe systems of work for the activity of spraying.”
Mr Taylor told magistrates their powers of a fine up to £20,000 was insufficient given the circumstances of the case, and asked it be sent to the crown court.
Magistrates declined jurisdiction and Harford Attachments will be sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on a date to be fixed.
After the hearing, Mr Timbers’ brother, Ash Timbers, 35, said the family believes Mr Kidd “should lose the company” over the breaches.
“It should have been shut down as soon as the incident occurred,” he said. “He has got no remorse for what he did. We have only had an apology through his solicitors, which we believe was advised. That just felt like more of an insult.
“There will never be closure for us.
“If he had done his job properly, two people would still be alive.”
Mr Kidd chose not to comment after the hearing.
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