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Firm Fined Following Hazardous Substance Exposure

Expert Demands Incident Must Not Repeated


An incident which saw at least ten workers develop a skin condition following exposure to a hazardous substance must not be repeated, an injury expert at Irwin Mitchell has demanded.

Pharmaceutical firm Catalent UK Swindon Zydis Ltd has been fined £50,000 after it was revealed employees were sensitised to active drug ingredient Olanzapine and then developed allergic contact dermatitis.

The condition causes sufferers much discomfort, as it often leads to the skin cracking and bleeding.

While the firm identified the substance as the potential cause of the cases, it did not carry out an immediate risk assessment and only considered the issue thoroughly after two cases were confirmed.

Commenting on the case, Mark Allen, associate director of Irwin Mitchell’s Occupational Disease Unit, said: “Firms need to follow all of the guidance in place when it comes to the handling of hazardous substances, as the consequences for both them and workers can be severe.

“This case is particularly worrying as the firm in question failed to act quickly once potential concerns were raised, which means that more workers may have been placed at potential risk.

“It is vital that the mistakes made in this instance do not occur again and that firms ensure they do everything in their power to protect their staff.”