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No ventilatuion at work


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Hello everyone.

 

I work for a cosmetics company,

 

The company is owned by a bigger company (who make tools) [no idea why they would buy a hand made soap company!]

 

Anyway,

 

there is very little ventilation where i work, I am getting really ill from it, im going back to the doctor today.

 

The main chemical is sodium hydroxide or lye and fragrances. But i think the main problem is just, lack of oxygen.

 

I get very bad headaches and feel drwosy and confused - every day!

 

I have mentioned this to the employer but she couldnt care less and would have no problem sacking me (or bullying me so much i quit) if i bring it up again.

 

When the H&S exec came round to check the tool company a couple of years ago she made me lock the soap place and take the signs down so they didnt know it was there.

 

I am getting really stressed as she is a psychotic bully, and since im the only person she employes I cant go talk to someone about it.

 

Id be thankful for any advice.

 

PS yes i am looking for a new job but there is not much around I keep sending off cv's but no luck so far.

 

I am actually worried I might be doing damage to my lungs.

 

PPS

They also have asbestos tiles on the floor - a few of which are cracked!

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The employer has to provide a safe working environment for you to work.

 

Ask to see their risk assessments for this area and the risk associated with these chemicals, I believe that they would fall under COSHH regulations as well, certainly Sodium Hydroxide would. Sodium Hydroxide is a strong alkali, Its one you use in labs at school in the stoppered bottles! Its as dangerous as an acid, but alkali's have a tendency to numb the area they attack. So you could be breathing it in and it attacking your throat/lungs and you wouldn't feel it.

 

Are there signs to wear masks? do they provide them? what health and safety training have you received?

 

As Becky said - the HSE would very well be interested. Definitely go see your GP.

I am not a legal professional or adviser, I am however a Law Student and very well versed areas of Employment Law. Anything I write here is purely from my own experiences! If I help, then click the star to add to my reputation :)

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Boss isn't going to do anything.

 

If you aren't prepared to do anything, you find a new job, or you put up. That's your only choices!

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Perhaps.... In which case you should raise a formal grievance blowing the whistle on unsafe working practices, and if nothing is done, refer openly to the HSE.

 

If she dismisses you as a result, this would be automatically unfair and this means higher compensation... But I appreciate that's not ideal (although neither is damaging your health!)

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Hi

 

agree anonymous call to HSE or report this issue higher above your bosses head to the bigger company but ensure they have a "whistle blowing policy" as that gives you protection.

 

My concern here is what laws is this individual breaking if they hide from an HSE Inspection.

 

If you know the chemicals you work with try looking up there names and possible side affects and your employer should also have to follow COSSH which is on the HSE website.

 

Your health is more importnat thansome fool that dont give a dame about the healthe & safety of there employees - is this worth your health.

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Hi

 

agree anonymous call to HSE or report this issue higher above your bosses head to the bigger company but ensure they have a "whistle blowing policy" as that gives you protection.

 

No policy required - that's the beauty of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. And let's be honest, a one man band employer is highly unlikely to have any such policy in place.

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Hi

 

@becky2585 I was refering not to his small company but to the bigger company that took them over as they should have a whislte blowing policy.

 

Agree with what you have said about public interest.

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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