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Health and safety coordinator at Harford Attachments had been sacked before explosion which killed two men

PUBLISHED: 18:37 13 July 2017 | UPDATED: 19:28 13 July 2017

29-year-old Daniel Timbers (left) and 56-year-old Barry Joy (right). Picture: Norfolk Police

29-year-old Daniel Timbers (left) and 56-year-old Barry Joy (right). Picture: Norfolk Police

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The health and safety coordinator at a factory where two men died in an explosion had been made redundant four years earlier, an inquest has heard.

Emergency services and staff at Spar Road, Norwich after the reported explosion and fire believed to be at the Harford premises.
Picture by SIMON FINLAY.Emergency services and staff at Spar Road, Norwich after the reported explosion and fire believed to be at the Harford premises. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Marc Smith was replaced in his role by foreman Chris Brown after leaving Harford Attachments in 2011 when he was sacked by MD Steve Kidd.

Mr Brown told Norfolk Coroners Court he was not aware 28-year-old Daniel Timbers had been working as a reserve paint sprayer at the factory on Spar Road in Norwich.

Mr Timbers had been covering for his father Nick on July 13, 2015, when a blast went off in the spray booth where he was working with 58-year-old Barry Joy.

After warnings from area coroner Yvonne Blake that he may risk incriminating himself, Mr Brown refused to answer a number of questions.

He said he had last been on a four day IOSH health and safety training course in 2011, but had never had refresher training.

The new spray booth, which had been completed in February 2015, had not been risk assessed, and there was no risk assessment for the new electrostatic spray equipment the men had been working with, Mr Brown told the court.

He said: “Both Barry and Nick [Timbers] told me they had used the equipment before. Everybody has responsibility for their own health and safety. You can’t be on top of people in the paint shop all the time.”

Mr Brown refused to answer queries on whether he thought it was a risk to store a 205 litre barrel of solvents in the spray booth or if it was his job to read work manuals and eliminate health and safety risks.

He said a DSE workplace assessment had not been carried out on the booth and there was no fire suppression system fitted.

The court heard a new health and safety policy had been written by a consultant company and delivered to Harford in May, but Mr Brown said he had not read it by the time of the incident in July.

Marc Smith had undertaken a NEBOSH health and safety training course, spanning two months, before being made redundant.

“Steve [Kidd] had ultimate responsibility,” he told the court. “I tried on occasion to discipline the staff which was taken very poorly by Mr Kidd.

“I implemented the foundations of health and safety to the best of my ability.”

The inquest continues.

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