For four years staff at a veterinary firm were potentially laid open to dangerous substances that can lead to cancer, a court heard.
Luton Crown Court fined Davies Veterinary Services Limited £35,000 on Thursday October 23 following a Health and Safety Executive investigation.
Nurses, support staff and vets were among employees who may have been subjected to dangerous substances in chemotherapy drugs used to treat animals between July 2007 and September 2011.
Fears at the practice in Higham Gobion, Bedfordshire, were raised at the end of this period.
One vet claimed that a fume cabinet used to prepare these drugs was unsuitable.
Investigation exposed safety failings
Staff who think their work has exposed them to injury or a medical condition can seek to make a work compensation claim with the help of specialist lawyers at Accident Advice Helpline.
The HSE’s inquiries uncovered inadequate cleaning processes and found that Davies’s fume cupboard had not been maintained for several years.
It also showed that no measures were taken to stop the danger of employees being exposed.
In addition, workers received no safety training in relation to the cupboard and there were no observation systems nor any appropriate personal protective apparatus.
Davies Veterinary Services, of Shefford Business Centre, was also told to pay costs of £50,378 after admitting breaking Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Emma Page, an HSE inspector, said after the case that cancer-treating chemotherapy drugs for animals may lead to cancer among people as well as harming unborn babies.
She said that simple steps could have prevented the workers’ risk of exposure.
How Accident Advice Helpline can help
If you feel you could make a compensation claim because of workplace conditions you should approach a tried and trusted legal firm such as Accident Advice Helpline. Its specialist, experienced lawyers offer a no-win, no-fee* service. Call 0800 689 0500 for more information.