Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Ozone Danger Ignored Resulting in Life Changing Injuries
Posted by David Cant on November 21, 2012

One contractor working in Kegworth has had his life permanently affected after being exposed to ozone. Richard Sharp from West Yorkshire was working for Cott Beverages when the exposure occurred. He was sent into a room to change a UVB light system that was located in the plant room. He had been given a permit to work for the company and wasn’t told that there was ozone present. Quickly after entering the room he fell ill and was overcome with fumes.

Due to the exposure Mr Sharp now has acute irritant asthma. He has not been able to return to work and his whole life has been affected. He is prone to asthma attacks that can be triggered very easily by such things as smells and chemicals. Even the smell of perfume is enough to start an attack.

Lack of Risk Assessments and Training Resulted in Incident

The Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident that took place in July 2010. They discovered that the company Mr Sharp was working for had not conducted a suitable risk assessment.  The machinery that generated the ozone was not properly assessed and as a result there wasn’t a safe system of work created that could have made the job of serving safer and prevented the incident. In addition to these failings the inspectors found that the workers on the site had not been properly trained. They were also not able to issue work permits that allowed work to commence in the ozone room.  Cott Beverages had completely failed to create and maintain a system that was able to monitor and review the work permit system.

The Firm Were Aware of the Hazards

Although the firm were aware of the risks that were present in the ozone room they went ahead and sent Mr Sharp in to work. As a result Mr Sharp has had his life changed forever. The form did nothing to try and fix the leak before work commenced and had not worked in a manner to reduce the risks for theory workers and contractors. Therefore they were fined £20,000 at Loughborough Magistrates on November 2012. In addition to the fine they were awarded after pleading guilty for breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act, the firm will have to pay £11,565.

It is the employer’s duty to do everything that is reasonably practicable to ensure the safety of workers and contractors. Rather than putting lives in danger it is better to outsource to health and safety consultants. If you do not have competent people that have the skills and experience to carry out risk assessments or training the consultants are able to step in and give you the help you need to comply with the law and keep workers safe.

Call 0800 1488 677 to ask about the various health and safety services that can stop life changing injuries from happening.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Health and Safety, Health and Safety Consultancy, Health and Safety Services, Workplace Health and Safety, Workplace Safety

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