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The Royal Mail has been fined £40,000 after a worker suffered severe chemical burns in Hemel Hempstead.
The prosecution by Dacorum Borough Council's legal department followed an investigation by Environmental Health Officers after an accident on 28 January 2014 where an employee from the Royal Mail Hemel Hempstead site suffered severe chemical burns to his leg while involved in a cleaning task.
The company had failed to carry out risk assessments which may have shown that the dispensing pump for the cleaning chemical was defective. The cleaning liquid leaked, causing the concentrated cleaning chemical to spill on to their employee's leg. The employee received immediate hospital treatment and skin grafts and required eight months off work to recover.
The Royal Mail pleaded guilty to two offences s2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc 1974 and Regulation 6(1) of The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 at Watford Magistrates Court on 9 January 2015.
The Court awarded fines of £40,000 (£20,000 per offence, and the maximum the Magistrates could order) and gave costs to the Council of nearly £4,000.
Councillor Neil Harden, portfolio holder for Residents and Regulatory Services said, "It is important that all businesses take Health And Safety seriously and ensure that risks in the workplace are effectively controlled and it was important we took this action given the serious nature of the injuries. We are pleased that Royal Mail has changed its procedures and now operates a safer vehicle cleaning operation."
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