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    CEMENT BURNS PROSECUTION

    Workman suffers serious burns during work with concrete 

    A workman sustained significant burns to his legs after wet concrete poured into his boots. The effect of concrete held against his skin was to cause chemical burns from the cement. The situation was aggravated by a lack of suitable washing facilities on the site.

    The investigating inspector commented “anyone who uses cement – or anything containing cement, such as mortar, plaster and concrete – or is responsible for managing its use, should be aware that it presents a hazard to health. Wet cement can cause burns; these often take months to heal and in extreme cases need skin grafts or can even lead to amputation.”

    Comment: The company was fined the surprisingly small sum of £500. Commenting indirectly on the on the level of fine the Inspector went on to say “fining a company is not necessarily the greatest punishment or deterrent but, particularly in the construction sector, a company competing for work and needing to declare that it has been prosecuted for breaching health & safety legislation is very likely to have a distinct disadvantage over one with a clean record and those placing contracts can check for prosecutions on the HSE website.”

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