Herbal remedy manufacturer fined after toxic fatality
A Lincolnshire company has fined a total of almost £50,000 following the tragic death of an employee.
A worker at the company died from being exposed to toxic substance in September 2014. Leicester Crown Court was informed that the employee of Stamford-based Herbs in a Bottle Ltd, a manufacturer of medicinal herbal remedies, was cleaning a room using chemicals. Karl Brader, 50, suffered exposure to a gas, which is most likely to have been chlorine, and passed away while on the premises.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) conducted an investigation, finding that no training had been given to Brader in how to use chemicals safely, and a Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) assessment had not been carried out by the employer.
Stephen Farthing, inspector for the HSE, said:
“This was a tragic industrial incident that was entirely preventable had suitable precautions been taken. Karl Brader had not received any training in the safe use of hazardous chemicals and as a result died from the exposure to a toxic gas.”
He added that companies should conduct risk assessments when using hazardous chemicals, and that employees had minimal exposure to harmful substances.
The company received a fine of £45,000, and had to pay costs of £4,842, after pleading guilty to a breach of health and safety regulations.
Employers are required to comply with all health and safety legislation, which may include the use of risk assessments, provision of training, or the use of PPE and safety workwear.