Creosote products are commonly used to protect wood against rot, fungus and decay. Although creosote was once very commonly used in the UK, it is today regulated so that only products which have been approved under the COPR (control of pesticides regulations) can now be used, and only approved professionals are allowed to use creosote. If you need to creosote a roof, you should make sure it’s done safely.
What is creosote?
Creosote is a substance which is created when coal is burned and is a mix of coal and tar derivatives. It was first discovered as the substance coating the inside of the chimneys of coal-burning fireplaces, and it was then noticed that this thick substance worked effectively to prevent the degeneration of wood. The reason the substance is controlled is that there is a risk that creosote causes cancer in humans.
Safety tips for using creosote
- Always wear protective clothing, a face mask and gloves and do not allow creosote to touch the skin
- If accidental contact with skin is made, wash the area thoroughly with water immediately
- Do not use creosote in an area where either prolonged or incidental contact with skin may be made (i.e. on a fireplace)
- Do not use creosote in an area where it may come into contact with drinking water
- Do not use in residential settings
- Do not burn creosote-treated wood in open fires as toxic fumes may be created
- Avoid inhalation of creosote-treated sawdust
- Dispose of creosote-treated wood either by taking it to a waste disposal centre or by burial
- Never attempt to use creosote without proper training and supervision
What to do if you have received a creosote-related injury
If you have been injured in any way due to contact with creosote, you may be entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation. If you have been injured at work, there is a high possibility that your injury may be due to employer negligence. Your employer has a duty of care to protect you at work and this includes providing you with proper training and supervision so that you understand how not to injure yourself.
For more information on employer negligence and personal injury compensation, call our expert legal advisors at Accident Advice Helpline. They’ll be able to tell you whether or not you are likely to be entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation, and give a rough estimate of how much compensation you could receive if successful.