Ten pharmaceutical workers in Swindon have suffered injury claims after coming into close contact with toxic chemicals. As their work accident claims saw them develop a condition known as allergic contact dermatitis, their employer has been fined.
Ten of Blagrove based Catalent Pharma Solutions’ employees developed an irreversible and painful skin condition once they had come into contact with a chemical called olanzapine. The substance is part of the process of manufacturing antipsychotic medications.
After the personal injury claims were brought to the attention of the Health and Safety Executive, an inspection was conducted of the incidences. The inspection found that Catalent had previously identified the substance as possibly causing previous cases of dermatitis, a skin condition. Despite this the company had neglected to act on these findings. Moreover Catalent Pharma Solutions did not conduct a review of the procedures for its risk assessment following the initial dermatitis incident.
The pharmaceutical company entered a plea of guilty at Swindon Magistrates Court for breaching Health and Safety at Work Regulations. As a result it has been assessed a £50,000 fine. Additionally it now has to pay costs of more than0 £50,000 in addition to its fine.
An inspector for the Health and Safety Executive stated that allergic contact dermatitis is both irreversible and uncomfortable. The disease can cause skin to crack and bleed, added the inspector. The HSE official also stated that Catalent could have easily avoided additional cases of the skin ailment by simply reviewing its risk assessment.
Many employees who come to suffer from an illness they contract in their place of work go on to make personal injury claims for compensation from their employers. No information was available as to whether the ten employees of Catalent plan on filing such claims however.