Workers at a company premises in Bristol were exposed to hazardous chemicals over a four-year period leading to the onset of a disease called ‘allergic contact dermatitis.' One employee suffered four years of his skin blistering, cracking, splitting and weeping because of this allergic dermatitis.
Two other employees also suffered the symptoms of allergic dermatitis, including fingers and hands becoming so badly swollen and blistered that one could not do up his shirt buttons without his fingers splitting open. All three employees had been working with photographic chemicals.
The company was fined a total of £100,000 and ordered to pay £30,000 costs. They were fined £30,000 for breaching The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and £10,000 for 6 separate breaches of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations for not making adequate risk assessments, not preventing or controlling exposure of employees to chemicals, and for not providing any ‘health surveillance' of employees at-risk. They were also fined £10,000 for not reporting a case of allergic contact dermatitis.