Dairy company fined after health and safety breaches

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Food_Manufacture_Sponsors_2020_Business Leaders_781x285A dairy farm has been fined following an incident in which an employee was permanently blinded by corrosive chemicals used in cleaning. An employee was cleaning the walls of the dairy using a corrosive disinfectant DM CiD, which contains potassium hydroxide. The pump sprayer being used unexpectedly developed a fault and ruptured into the face of the employee covering him in the caustic and corrosive disinfectant.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company failed to plan and supervise the use of chemicals for cleaning the dairy and did not have effective emergency arrangements in place. The dairy company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,879.94.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Stephen Faulkner said “This incident could so easily have been avoided by implementing correct control measures, safe working practices and appropriate emergency arrangements. Agriculture is an industry with a high accident rate, and the chemicals and activity involved in this incident are common in dairy farming, so this case should send a message to farms about the dangers of working with chemicals. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards”.

WM comment

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