Pharmaceutical firm failed to protect worker from hazardous substances
11 May 2015
Macfarlan Smith of Wheatfield Road, Edinburgh pleaded guilty to safety failings after an employee was exposed to hazardous substances.
The company, that manufactures basic pharmaceutical products, appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court and was fined £27,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
The court heard that between 6 April 2004 and 28 January 2010, the company failed to review and ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employee, Michael Halpin.
Mr Haplin continued to work with 14-Hydroxycodeinone and other hazardous substances, such as Oxycodone after he had been diagnosed with allergic contact dermatitis as a result of the exposure. Despite advice from a medical professional, Mr Haplin continued to work with both substances which resulted in him suffering from an adverse health effect, namely skin sensation.
After being employed by Macfarlan Smith for approximately 17 years, Macfarlan Smith considered it impossible to redeploy Mr Halpin to suitable alternative duties due to his sensitisation, and his employment was terminated on 31 December 2010 on grounds of capability.