A prohibition noticed which was served on a factory at the centre of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak remains in place - almost a month after it was imposed by a health watchdog.
Faltec Europe Limited, based in Boldon Business Park, was forced to close four cooling towers on June 5 by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after significant levels of the potentially lethal bacteria were found in water systems on site.
If the company can demonstrate that the risk is adequately controlled, then they will have complied with the prohibition notice and it will cease to have effectHSE spokesman
The cooling towers cannot be brought back into use until the firm satisfies the HSE that the prohibition notice can be lifted – as there is no longer a safety risk.
Four workers at the company and a resident whose home overlooks the factory have contracted the disease since October, with four of the cases occurring between April and May.
All required hospital treatment but have since been discharged.
Bosses at Faltec Europe are now using two chiller units on site to seal in cool water used in factory processes to prevent a risk of further infection.
The lung condition does not spread from person to person, only via contaminated water droplets.
A HSE spokesman said: “The prohibition notice is still in place.
“If the company can demonstrate that the risk is adequately controlled, then they will have complied with the prohibition notice and it will cease to have effect.”
Faltec say that day-to-day operations at the factory have not been affected by the notice.