Hotel prosecuted after worker blacks out following use of strong acid

Published: 15 Nov 2017

Poor implementation of health and safety policy and risk assessments often result in catastrophic outcomes. In a set of unfortunate events in March 2015, three workers of a Maidenhead hotel were hospitalised after work activities went horribly wrong. The first incident involves the use of strong acid and the second involves the use of a decarboniser.

In the first incident, two employees were tasked with giving the pool and spa to the Fredrick’s Hotel a deep clean. The two inexperienced workers fell seriously ill and began vomiting after 30 minutes of using a strong acid. One of the workers also lost consciousness.

The second incident involved a member of staff at the same hotel receiving burns after using a new decarboniser (a machine which operates at high temperature to remove carbon and grease from kitchen equipment).

The owner of Fredricks Hotel and the firm that runs it have been forced by Ready Crown Court to pay more than £70,000 for health and safety breach.

EHO’s from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead visited Fredrick’s Hotel in 2015 and found that the owner, Art Hotels UK, had not reviewed the management of health and safety since it appointed Premier Cru Hotels to run the four star establishment two years earlier. Environmental health officers found numerous breaches, including employees using strong acids without being given sufficient training. They served improvement notices on Art Hotels and its director

These unfortunate scenarios could easily have been avoided if basic health and safety requirements were followed.

In order to ensure that legal compliance is met and to reduce the likelihood of potential repercussions, the following criteria MUST be met:

  • Reviewing of health and safety arrangements to reflect your current operation.
  • Implementation of risk assessments. Ensure that all hazards associated with the task are clearly identified.
  • Control measures need to be clearly identified and brought to the attention of members of staff carrying out the duties.
  • COSHH assessments must be carried out for all chemicals used on site. This needs to be completed in conjunction with the appropriate safety data sheets.
  • Risk assessments also specify the 'personal protective equipment' which needs to be worn.
  • Providing the required health and safety and chemical safety training to members of the team.

Contact CSC today if you need support with development and implementation of policies or risk assessments.