Health and Safety Failings – Pharmaceutical firm fined after employee exposed to hazardous substances

Pharmaceutical firm fined after employee exposed to hazardous substances

Key Facts: 

  • An investigation was launched into a pharmaceutical firm after worker exposed to hazardous substances.
  • The firm had failed to review and ensure the health and welfare of their employee.
  • They were subsequently fined £27,000.

The Case:

The HSE launched an investigation into the practices of an Edinburgh based pharmaceutical firm after an employee was exposed to hazardous substances.

The investigation found that the pharmaceutical firm had failed to review and safeguard the health, safety and welfare of an employee over a six year period. Despite being diagnosed with allergic contact dermatitis as a result of exposure to hazardous substances, he continued to work with them. Despite medical advice on the contrary, he continued to work with these substances which led to him developing adverse health effects.

The case was heard at Edinburgh Sheriff court in May 2015, where the pharmaceutical firm pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They were subsequently fined £27,000.

pharmaceutical firm

What the law states: 

Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974 states:

‘It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.’

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