The managing director of a Black Country firm has been fined after neglecting to control legionella at its site.

Despite warnings from water treatment contractors, Ernest Jones of Coseley-based First Metal Finishers failed to put a management system in place for the control of legionella.

Mr Jones of Rugeley, Staffordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37(1), by virtue of Section 3(1), of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. He was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 towards costs.

Dudley magistrates heard how in September 2008, inspectors visited the site in Cannon Business Park to look at control of legionella bacteria in two cooling towers. The towers were in operation at the time of the visit, but it became evident no management system was in place for the control of legionella.

A prohibition notice was issued on site to stop the towers operating and an improvement notice was issued for a management system to be put in place. The failings showed neglect on the part of managing director Ernest Jones.

HSE inspector Sarah Palfreyman said: “The risk was foreseeable and entirely preventable. The company, and therefore the managing director, had received quotes from two water treatment companies which hadn’t been acted upon and received information from one about very high bacteria levels in the towers.”