Nine Herefordshire joinery and construction firms have been issued with notices to improve workplace safety in the last four months.
This follows an inspections campaign by the Heath & Safety Executive (HSE) focusing on wood dust and other breathable particles in workplaces, which it says cause “thousands” of preventable cases of irreversible lung disease each year.
However the wave of inspections this summer also revealed other failings at Herefordshire’s woodworking companies.
RJ Joinery & Equestrian Services of Glanwye Business Park near Hay-on-Wye was issued with three immediate prohibition notices for failing to prevent access to moving parts of cutting machines at the plant.
Seven further improvement notices said the firm had failed to protect workers from wood dust, to have lifting gear inspected, and to train fork lift truck workers in safe working.
Advance Joinery of Pontrilas was issued with two prohibition notices covering access to dangerous parts of machinery. It also received four improvement notices, covering wood dust and a failure to address risks from woodworking machinery including the risk of injury from amputation from a tenoning machine.
Draig Joinery of Sweetmans Yard, Hereford was issued with two immediate prohibition notices regarding access to dangerous parts of cutting machinery. It was also given four improvement notices covering wood dust exposure and management of heath and safety measures.
Taylor Lane Timber Frame of Rotherwas Industrial Estate, Hereford was given a immediate prohibition notice regarding access to the blade of a sawing machine.
T J Crump Oakwrights of Swainshill near Hereford received two improvement notices for failing to adequately train staff to use a timber processing machine safely, as well as failing to ensure staff were not exposed to wood dust.
Choices Foundation, a community interest company based at Three Elms Trading Estate, Hereford was given an improvement notice regarding facewear to prevent exposure to wood dust.
Improvement notices were also issued to Pricewise Homes near Ross-on-Wye, to Vision Building and Development of Holme Lacy Industrial Estate, Hereford, and to Smith Builders of Winforton near Eardisley, saying the firms lacked adequate running water at toilets.
A HSE spokesperson said: “It is inevitable that inspection campaigns can result in increased enforcement.
“Herefordshire has not been solely targeted, but sector-specific inspections have taken place in the region to support the national campaign.”