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Council prosecuted following child's chemical burns

06 August 2018

Stornaway Sheriff Court issued a fine and ordered a local authority to pay a £6,000 compensation order following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

This followed an incident in July last year that occurred at Valtos Pier, Uig in the Western Isles that resulted in a boy suffering chemical burns.

The court was told that local authority employees had cleaned the slipway and steps of the pier, using sodium hypochlorite.

After this had been completed, two children visited the pier to go crabbing and laid on the steps of the pier.

One of the children began to feel a stinging sensation across his left left and noticed a white substance on his trousers.

His skin developed red and brown patches and the children return to their holiday home, where their mother showered the boy, after which his father took him to hospital.

The hospital identified that a chemical burn had been sustained by the child due to the chemical used by Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar council.

During the course of its investigation, HSE found that the council had failed to cordon off the area or wash away the solution.

It also found that the risk assessment in place had failed to consider implications to members of the public.

Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar council, of Sandwick Road, Stornaway received a fine of £12,000, in addition to the £6,000 compensation order.

It had submitted a guilty plea to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work, etc, Act 1974.

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