Blog - Industrial Disease

Company Fined after Employees Exposed to Dangerous Chemicals

A company has been fined after its employees were exposed to dangerous chemicals.

The exposure happened to staff at Endeavour Speciality Chemicals Ltd. The chemicals in question are used in food production to flavour products and for smell purposes, but can be hazardous in large quantities.

Employees of the chemical manufacturing company had to pour these chemicals into containers so that they could be delivered to the firm’s customers. However, there was not adequate ventilation in the work area and employees suffered as a result.

One female employee was confirmed as suffering from occupational asthma and rhinitis after undertaking regular work with the chemicals. The conditions have meant that she is now unable to work with chemicals, and has found another job.

The Health and Safety Executive investigated the working practices at the company and found a lack of risk assessment into the packing work on the premises. This resulted in a lack of measures to control employee’s exposure to hazardous chemicals.

At Northampton Magistrates’ Court last month, the company pleaded guilty to breaking the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations. They were subsequently fined £15,000.

A spokesperson for the HSE stated afterwards that simple measures such as a fume cupboard, ventilation or PPE could have made the handling of such chemicals safe.

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