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The ever-present dangers of an industrial accident have been highlighted by the recent and tragic death of a worker who died while cleaning out a chemical tank used to strip alloy wheels from cars.

According to media reports the 33-year-old Dundee man suffered the fatal industrial accident in August 2011 while attempting to remove debris from the chemical tank. His health and safety was compromised in a number of ways, most critically by his employer's failure to provide him with protective clothing; instead sending him into the hazardous area with only running shoes, tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt.

Furthermore, although he was given a mask, it served little purpose as it failed to protect him from the chemical fumes and instead actually played a part in introducing lethal toxins into his air supply

A post-mortem examination found that the worker died from inhaling industrial paint stripper in an area that was inadequately ventilated. In addition, the court heard that were insufficient health and safety protocols, no suitable risk assessments, and only a limited safe system of work.

The firm concerned will be sentenced in October, following the submission of written statements from both the prosecution and defence.

The case serves to highlight the importance of employers always ensuring adequate health and safety training and risk assessments together with the provision of suitable protective equipment; it is clear that complacency in any of these areas can lead to an industrial accident, even a fatal one.


For information and advice about claiming compensation for injury sustained in an industrial accident, contact Thompsons, the leading personal injury solicitor firm in Scotland, by clicking here.

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