A soft drink manufacturing company has been prosecuted and fined, after a contractor was overcome with ozone fumes.
Forty nine year old Richard Sharp from Wetherby, in West Yorkshire, had been contracted to service a UV light system at the Sideley Road premises of soft drink manufacturer Cott Beverages Ltd.
Loughborough Magistrates’ Court was told that Mr. Sharp was given a permit to allow him to work in the plant room but was not told about the presence of ozone; he was later overcome by the fumes and now suffers with acute irritant asthma.
The condition causes a high sensitivity to various chemicals and smells, which can trigger a debilitating asthma attack.
Mr. Sharp has not been able to return to work because of his condition and struggles with normal day to day activities, as even the smell of strong deodorants or car exhaust fumes can trigger an attack.
An investigation into the incident by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that ozone, which was being used as a disinfectant in the drink manufacturing process, had been present in the plant room since 2001 when generating equipment was first installed.
However the company had failed to implement a suitable risk assessment of the ozone generators and had not introduced a safe system of working, to protect employees and contractors from coming into contact with the gas.
Cott Beverages Ltd, of Kegworth, in Derby, was fined £20,000 after admitting a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act, following a successful prosecution by the HSE.