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Firm fined £377,500 after worker's death

A specialist engineering company in Leeds has been ordered to pay £377,500 in fines and costs after protracted safety failings led to the death of a worker from fatal head injuries caused by a powered valve.

Graham Britten, 46, of Kippax, Leeds, was carrying out maintenance in a vacuum casting furnace at AETC Ltd in Yeadon when the main isolation valve closed suddenly, trapping his head. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The incident, in 2009, was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive.

Leeds Crown Court was told today that HSE uncovered repeated failings by AETC Ltd ,The firm was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay £77,500 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Chemical claims

Mr Portman claims chemicals are damaging his property.

A man in West Yorkshire claims chemicals have been leaking into his property for the last eleven years.

John Portman says tanks, which are just 5 metres from his home, are leaking caustic soda. He claims it has killed plants and trees and affected the foundations of his house.

The company which owns the tanks, AETC, denies the claims. They have told us that while Mr and Mrs Portman have started legal proceedings they are "vigorously defending them".