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Car repair business sentenced after worker dies after inhaling paint stripper

An employer has been fined after a worker died after inhaling fumes while cleaning a chemical stripping paint tank at a motor vehicle repair company.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard how on 18 August 2011, Steven Conway, 33, from Dundee, was employed by Diamond Wheels (Dundee) Limited to undertake general duties at its Dryburgh Industrial Estate, premises.

These duties included collections and deliveries, removing and replacing tyres, and moving alloy wheels into, and out of, the chemical stripping tank.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found Conway was provided with no formal training in respect of the use of the chemical stripping tank and the chemical stripping agent used by the company. Instead he was given ‘on the job’ training.

The court heard Conway, was overcome by dichloromethane vapour while attempting to remove stripping debris from within the chemical stripping tank and died as a result of his exposure to those vapours.

Diamond Wheels (Dundee) Limited, of Nethergate, Dundee, was fined £50,000, after pleading guilty to offences under Section 2(1) and 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

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