Caretaker Overwhelmed by Noxious Fumes Wins £3,000
Date online: 16/10/2011
A further case involving injury to a worker as a result of the use of a chemical cleaning product, without adequate health and safety measures having been taken, has seen a caretaker from Walsall receive a £3,000 compensation settlement from his employer.
Desmond Groom, 44, was using a fungicidal wash to remove mould from the walls of a flat, as instructed in a note left at the property by the Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) for which he worked. The fungicide had been decanted from its original bottle so there were no instructions available to Mr Groom, and he had been given neither guidance nor training on its safe use.
When he started using the product, Mr Groom was overcome by noxious fumes and passed out. He was using step ladders to carry out the work but, fortunately, was not working at height when he lost consciousness. As it was, he hit his side on a sink and suffered fractures to his ribs as well as pain in his eyes, nose and mouth.
Mr Groom had to take three months off work after the accident and it was six months before he fully recovered.
A claim was brought against the TMO, which agreed to an out-of-court settlement without any admission of liability.
Employers have a duty to take reasonable steps to safeguard the health and safety of their employees. Before introducing products of this type, employers must make sure they fully understand their properties and assess any risks posed by the chemicals they contain. Products should always be clearly labelled, and training on their safe use provided as well as adequate protective clothing where appropriate.
If you've suffered an illness or injury that was not your fault then please contact our Personal Injury team here at Molesworths Solicitors on 01706 356666.
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