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Spalding Company Fined Following Serious Chemical Incident

Toxic Gas Leads To Factory Evacuation


A Spalding-based firm has been fined £8,500 over a serious chemical accident which saw three workers hospitalised.

Emmett UK of Fosdyke pleaded guilty to contravening regulations in relation to the control of hazardous substances over the case in September 2009, when an agency worker mixed two chemicals which reacted to each other and produced a toxic gas.

As well as leading to three workers being hospitalised, the factory had to be evacuated and an investigation revealed the firm had failed to provide sufficient training and information to the members of staff involved about using the cleaning materials in the correct manner.

David Urpeth, an expert at Irwin Mitchell who specialises in helping victims of workplace chemical accidents, said the case has put a spotlight on the importance of the issue.

He explained: “So many lines of work involve staff having to make use of dangerous and potentially harmful chemicals and it is vital that such workers are given both adequate protection and training with which to use them in a safe manner.

“Unfortunately, the latter was ignored in this work accident case and led to several workers suffering breathing difficulties, as well as disrupting work at the site due to evacuation.

“Companies simply cannot ignore the importance of health and safety in the workplace and this incident should be an example to all other firms that make use of dangerous chemicals.

“This case highlights serious failings that cannot be repeated.”