School pleads guilty to health and safety breach

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Stonyhurst College, a registered charity and independent school, has been ordered to pay more than £130,000 after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Terry McGough, from West Derby, near Liverpool, was employed by the College for nearly 12 years.  He developed a potentially fatal lung disease following exposure to illegal levels of silica dust.

The Health and Safety Executive found that he and other stonemasons employed by the college were exposed to up to 80 times the daily limit for silica dust.  According to the HSE, the College did not take any measures to monitor or reduce the exposure of workers to the dust even though it had been aware of the risks since 2008.

McGough was diagnosed with silicosis in July 2011 before being made redundant in November later that year.  McGough now has reduced lung function, suffers from breathlessness and can no longer continue in his profession, according to the HSE.

A spokeswoman for the college said: “Stonyhurst College pleaded guilty to this single offence at the outset of these proceedings. It has indicated its remorse in open court. We accept the judgment of the court.”

For more information please contact Tony McPhillips on 0191 211 7908.