A London-based builder has been heavily fined after two labourers sustained second degree chemical burns on site.
The pair, working as casual labourers for Geoffrey Cinko, 55, spent more than four hours knee-deep in wet concrete at a site on Stanley Road in East Sheen on 6 October 2010.
They were assisting with the concreting of a basement excavation on a project to demolish five garages and erect two semi-detached homes in their place.
One of the workers, who does not wish to be named, required skin grafts to both ankles as a result of his prolonged contact with the material.
He and his colleague were left in severe discomfort and had to seek hospital treatment after experiencing painful burning sensations around their ankles and lower legs. Doctors diagnosed them with chemical burns.
Chemical burns at work
A chemical burn is described as an injury to the skin or other organ tissue as a result of unprotected skin coming into contact with corrosive chemicals.
It can lead to a personal injury claim, especially if long-term treatment like reconstructive surgery or skin grafts is needed.
Accident Advice Helpine can tell you whether you’ve got a case to make a claim, and, if so, how much compensation you could be entitled to.
Duty of care failure
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that neither worker was briefed on the risks of working with wet concrete, which is a strong alkali that can cause serious burns and ulcers, while no protective equipment for the labourers, such as boots providing cover to knee level, was provided.
Welfare facilities at the site were also judged to be wholly inadequate. It concluded that Mr Cinko, of Holmesdale Avenue, East Sheen, failed in his duty of care as an employer.
He was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £10,000 in costs after being found guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.