Department shuts down leaking furnace

Labour inspectors have ordered the shutdown of one of the furnaces at the Assmang ferromanganese smelter in Cato Ridge after molten metal leaked through a hole in the furnace wall, the Department of Labour said yesterday.

Labour inspectors have ordered the shutdown of one of the furnaces at the Assmang ferromanganese smelter in Cato Ridge after molten metal leaked through a hole in the furnace wall, the Department of Labour said yesterday.

The department said the plant was inspected on Saturday and t he order to shut down the furnace was issued on Tuesday.

Just a week ago the ban on four furnaces at the plant was lifted after six people died of exposure to poisonous fumes.

"A prohibition notice served on the company has effectively halted all operations of the furnace until investigations are finalised," the department said.

The notice would be lifted only when the furnace was declared safe and a report was received explaining the cause of the incident and indicating what preventative measures are to be put into place.

In a separate incident inspectors discovered that a worker sustained minor burns to the chest last Thursday while working at furnace 3.

He received first aid treatment and returned to work the next day.

Meanwhile, the manganese poisoning inquiry at the Cato Ridge Country Club has been adjourned until Thursday. - Sapa

X