More Than 20 People Hospitalised After Livingston Chemical Spill

Workers Treated After Warehouse Incident

10.01.2012

An investigation has been launched after 23 people were taken to hospital in Livingston following a reported chemical spill at a warehouse in the town.

Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that all of those affected by the spill at the Palletways site, which occurred this morning (January 10th), were taken to St John’s Hospital for treatment.

It is thought the incident occurred when the substance, which was reportedly denatonium benzoate, was being transported across the site on a forklift truck. All of those hospitalised are thought to be workers.

Denatonium benzoate, also known as Bitrex, is used in a range of household products including bleach and anti-freeze.

Elaine Russell, a Partner at Irwin Mitchell’s Glasgow office who specialises in workplace injury and illness claims, said there was a clear need for answers following the incident.

She said: “We hope that both the local emergency services and safety authorities are able to fully examine how this spill came to occur, as well as whether lessons can be learned which will prevent similar problems in the future.

“Many of our cases involve workers who have suffered serious injury or illness as a result of safety failings and in our experience cases related to chemical spills can often leave victims with long-term symptoms.

“Because of this, it is particularly important that reassurances can be provided that other workers will be protected from any further potential risks. Ultimately, it cannot be ignored that health and safety should always be a priority for employers.”