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Worker prosecuted following acid burns

Posted in: Leg Injuries Workplace Injuries 

A member of staff at an industrial estate has been taken to court after one of his colleagues sustained serious burns from a plastic bottle filled with sulphuric acid. Mark Mellard (46) had picked up the plastic bottle on his way out of work, which had been left unattended by the sink, before he felt it burning on his leg. He disposed of the bottle and washed his leg with cold water. The severity of the burn damaged Mr Mellard’s nerve endings, so he proceeded to walk his dog before going to hospital. 

Mr Mellard has undergone two skin grafts to his left thigh since the accident at the DHL Debenhams warehouse at Sherburn Industrial Estate. It was heard that the sulphuric acid had been used to replace a weaker drain cleaner that they had been using previously. John Campey, the worker who left the bottle unattended, denied actually giving the bottle of acid to Mr Mellard, but admitted to two counts of breaching Health and Safety regulations.

60 hours unpaid work

Mr Mellard said that he was going to take the company to an industrial tribunal. He and Campey had been friends before the accident, but have not communicated since the accident happened last year. Campey was ordered to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work in the community and to pay £300 towards prosecution costs, alongside a £60 victim surcharge. It was heard at court that a civil action was underway to look at compensation for the injured worker.

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