Pharma company fined after man burned by chemicals

Pharma company fined after man burned by chemicals 25629

A pharmaceutical company based in the north-east of England has been fined for a serious safety breach after an employee was doused in a corrosive chemical.

The unnamed employee was conducting his normal duties at the Aesica Pharmaceuticals site at the Windmill Industrial Estate in Northumberland when the accident took place.

Although a previous inspection at the facility highlighted a tank containing bromine needed decommissioning as soon as possible, this had not been done by 2012 when the work accident took place.

Part of the unit was breached and bromine was sprayed all over the employee causing severe burn injuries. He was immediately rushed to hospital where he nearly died, but after 48 hours in intensive care the man pulled through.

For failing to adequately maintain its equipment, Aesica Pharmaceuticals was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive.

The firm pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was forced to pay fines and costs totalling £107,803.

By Francesca Witney