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Trust fined over hazardous substance exposure

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A Lincolnshire acute trust has been fined after a worker was exposed to hazardous substances

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has been fined after a health and safety inspection revealed an employee was regularly being exposed to a hazardous substance while cleaning an X-ray film processor.

The Grantham-based trust was fined £18,500 and ordered to pay full costs of £3,504.80 after pleading guilty to a breach of health and safety offences at Boston Magistrates Court.

A visit by Health and Safety Executive inspectors to the trust’s Pilgrim Hospital in Boston revealed an employee had been cleaning the film processor for several years without proper safety precautions. This exposed her to gluteraldehyde, a chemical which can cause skin and respiratory problems.

HSE inspector Jo Anderson said: ‘The trust placed the health of one its workers at risk by failing to properly identify the risk of exposure and putting appropriate controls in place. All employers must have systems in place to ensure that work with hazardous substances is identified, in order that the health of employees can be properly protected.’

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