A sheet metal manufacturing company and its director in Norwich have been fined a total of more than £30,000 after workers were exposed to high levels of lead.

Anglia Lead Ltd admitted failing to ensure the health and safety of its workers, breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The director of the company also admitted committing the same offence.

Staff at the plant suffered the exposure when casting molten lead into lead sheeting.

The prosecution found numerous failures by the company. Workers may have been exposed in various ways, including breathing in lead dust; absorbing it through their skin; or ingested it orally, even after work hours if they had not been washing their hands.

A Health and Safety Executive inspection found the company and the director had failed in several areas within its responsibility, including not provided suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to health created by work involving lead, failing to adequately control exposure to lead and not suitably investigate when occupational exposure level limits were exceeded.

The company was fined £10,000 and Director Mr Edwards was fined £10,000. The company was also ordered to pay all costs amounting to £10,556.

HSE Inspector Julie Jarvey said: "Exposure to lead is very serious and can be damaging to health. Lead is classified as a substance hazardous to health for good reason - when the dust or fumes are ingested or inhaled it can lead to long term ill-effects…HSE will not hesitate to prosecute companies and directors failing to carry out their legal obligations for ensuring the health and safety of their employees."

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