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Toxic gas exposure kills worker

A medicinal herbal manufacturing company based in Lincolnshire has been fined after a worker was exposed to a toxic gas and died.

Karl Brader, 50, was an employee at Herbs in a Bottle, Leicester Crown Court heard. He was using cleaning chemicals to wash down a changing room when he inhaled a toxic gas, likely to have been chlorine. He died at the scene.
 
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred on 2 September 2014, found that Brader was not trained in the safe use of chemicals. Herbs in a Bottle had not carried out a Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) assessment.
 
The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and Regulation 6(1)(a) of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, which covers suitable and sufficient risk assessments. It was fined £45,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £4,842.
 
HSE inspector Stephen Farthing said: “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. Companies should ensure that they assess all the risks associated with the use of dangerous chemical and that exposure to their employees is either eliminated or minimised.”

 

Keeley Downey is acting deputy editor of IOSH Magazine. She is a former editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine

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