Former Forest Town foundry owner admits health and safety breach

Nottingham Crown COurt.
Nottingham Crown COurt.

An ex-foundry owner whose breach of health and safety regulations led to his staff being poisoned has appeared in court.

Lawrence Dennis Brown (65) of Lime Grove, Forest Town, was at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday for sentencing.

As the former owner of LDB Light Alloys Ltd, on Boughton Industrial Estate, he admitted breaching health and safety.

The case came to light in 2011 after an employee was admitted to hospital with severe kidney pains. It was discovered he had lead poisoning.

After an investigation was launched by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), a notice to prevent the smelting of lead on the premises was served in June 2011.

Outlining the case on behalf of the HSE, barrister Alex Stein said that the workshop, which produced lead sheeting for church roofs, ‘fell far below the required standard’.

Spending more than two hours outlining the prosecution’s case, he said there had been no risk assessment, no training provided to employees or the effects of lead.

It was heard that respiratory equipment was ‘poorly maintained’, there was no proper cleaning facilities, and inadequate hygiene and ventilation.

Brown had been warned on previous occasions to simply buy a household hoover to help reduce the amount of lead dust in the workshop, but he claimed he could not afford it.

However, it was heard that Brown had equity in three houses.

A 28-year-old employee needed treatment at poisons unit for more than a year after working at LDB Light alloys Ltd. He can never work with lead again.

He was found to have about 70 mcgs of lead per decilitre of blood, with legislation stating anyone with more than 60 mcgs per litre should be suspended from work immediately.

It was heard that other employees had also suffered. One had swollen legs and was on immunosuppression steroids.

Sentencing of Brown is set to be concluded on 23rd January after the defence’s case is outlined.