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   Aug 12

Essendine herbal medicine company fined £45,000 over death of cleaner

A company has been fined £45,000 after a cleaner died from inhaling toxic fumes while working at a herbal medicine factory.

Karl Brader, 50, was employed by Herbs in a Bottle Limited in Bourne Road in Essendine, Rutland, which sells creams, dietary supplements and other herbal products.

He had not been properly trained in the use of chemicals and on September 2, 2014 he fell ill while cleaning a changing room at the factory.

It is believed the gas that killed him was chlorine and Mr Brader, who lived in Stamford, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The company, a family-run firm founded more than 25 years ago, was investigated and then prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

After admitting three breaches of the rules the company has now been ordered to pay a fine of £45,000 as well as the full prosecution costs of £4,842.

During a hearing a Leicester Crown Court evidence was presented that Mr Brader had not been trained in the safe use of the chemicals he was using on the day of his death.

The company had also breached health and safety rules by failing to carry out a Control of Substances Hazardous to Health assessment, which companies have been required to do for nearly 15 years.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and Regulation 6(1)(a) of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002.

HM Inspector Stephen Farthing 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.

“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.”

The HSE is the regulator for the whole of Great Britain giving out advice to employers and also working with local authorities to carry out inspections and investigations.

Source: Leicester Mercury

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