Two workers required treatment for “exceptionally high” levels of lead in their blood after being exposed to the substance through paint in a work accident.
Russell Leggett and Robert Peach, who both work for Four Tees Engineers, of Fareham, Hampshire, were exposed to lead paint during a job in the Solent last year.
The pair were carrying out work to reduce the height of the Nab Tower off the Isle of Wight in a job sub-contracted to Four Tees by BAM Nuttall, of Camberley, Surrey.
Inhaled lead dust
Mr Leggett, of Southampton, and Mr Peach, of Hamble, Hampshire, inhaled lead dust and fumes during work to remove steel using industrial torches between March 30 and July 22.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which carried out an investigation, said that consultants found “exceptionally high” levels of leadin the blood of both men.
Mr Leggett and Mr Peach both received treatment and monitoring before their blood returned to safe levels, HSE officials said.
After the results of the blood tests were received, BAM immediately halted work at the site.
Review of risk assessments
Bosses from BAM also then took the step of reporting the incident to the HSE as well as carrying out a review of its risk assessments.
BAM Nuttall has admitted two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act and a further two breaches of the Management of Health and Safety At Work Regulations.
A breach of the Control of Lead At Work regulations was admitted by Four Tees Engineers, which also admitted failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees.
In their investigation, HSE officials said that suitable control measures were overlooked by Four Tees, which also failed to ensure its workers had appropriate medical surveillance.
The firms will appear at Portsmouth crown court next month.
The Nab Tower was constructed almost 100 years ago to try to detect German U-boats but was never used for its original purpose, being utilised as a lighthouse instead.
Accident Advice Helpline can help assess whether or not you are entitled to make a personal injury claim after a workplace incident. Call our 24-hour hotline on 0800 689 0500 and our advisers will let you know if you are eligible to make a claim.