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Edinburgh Firm Fined For Failure to Protect Worker

A local pharmaceutical firm has appeared in Edinburgh Sheriff Court where it pleaded guilty to safety failings after an employee was exposed to hazardous substances.

The court heard that between April 2004 and January 2010, the company, which manufactures basic pharmaceutical products, failed to review and ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employee, Michael Halpin.

Despite advice from a medical professional, 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.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, this continued exposure resulted in Mr Haplin suffering from an adverse health effect, namely skin sensation.

He had worked for the company for approximately 17 years, but his employer considered it impossible to redeploy Mr Halpin to suitable alternative duties due to his sensitisation, and his employment was terminated on 31st December 2010 on grounds of capability.

The company was fined £27,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

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