Blog - Industrial Disease

Compensation for Science Teacher after being Exposed to Dangerous Fumes

A school science technician is reported to have received compensation after being exposed to dangerous fumes.

April Walsh worked as a senior science technician at Richard Rose Central Academy in Carlisle, Cumbria at the time of her exposure. The incident happened when the lid of a bottle of bromine became corroded and caused fumes to escape.

The escaping fumes filled the small poisons cupboard where the bottle was kept and seeped into the prep room next to it. When Mrs Walsh entered this room she was exposed to the fumes and began to feel irritation in her eyes, throat and nose right away.

Mrs Walsh received medical treatment and the rooms were made safe by firefighters, who had to smash windows in the poisons cupboard to let the fumes escape. Mrs Walsh continued to suffer from headaches and chest problems for weeks after her exposure, but luckily has not suffered any long term health problems.

It is reported in the North-West Evening Mail that staff at the school had complained to management about the poisons cupboard. They argued that it was unsuitable as there was no ventilation and the windows in the room did not open. They also claimed they were not given adequate personal protective equipment.

The paper reports that Mrs Walsh made a chemical injury claim against the school, which has just been successful. Her legal team successfully argued that the poisons cupboard should have had ducted ventilation, and that the school should have took action when staff raised concerns. She is reported to have now received £3,500 compensation.

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