Search

Fisheries lab gets safety all-clear

PUBLISHED: 10:23 12 July 2008 | UPDATED: 20:51 05 July 2010

A leading science laboratory, where workers were possibly exposed to cancer-causing chemicals, has been given a clean bill of health following major safety improvements.

A leading science laboratory, where workers were possibly exposed to cancer-causing chemicals, has been given a clean bill of health following major safety improvements.

The Lowestoft-based Cefas centre was ordered to carry out work last year after a member of scientific staff developed skin cancer, which medics said could have been linked to the use of arsenic compounds.

In a second incident, workers were exposed to dust possibly contam-inated with arsenic during the disposal of equipment at the Pakefield laboratory.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) served two notices demanding improvements, which have now been completed by Cefas - the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science.

Cefas spokesman Anne McClarnon said there had been no further incidents reported and insisted the measures carried out, which had started before the HSE notices were issued, showed a long-term commit-ment to health and safety.

There has been major investment in health and safety, which has seen better housekeeping in labs, an increase in the occupational health programme for staff and improved equipment.

When details of the health scare emerged last December, Cefas said only nine members of staff out of a workforce totalling more than 550, worked with arsenic compound.

Details of the safety work at Cefas, which is an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) emerged following the release of its annual report.

Despite its close government links, Cefas carries out a high level of private work and the report also reveals strong business growth, with an increase in turnover from non-Defra projects of £3m.

The report also stresses the importance of moving Cefas to the proposed Waveney Campus along with local councils. But serious question marks over the viability of the project have emerged after the Boundary Committee revealed proposals to govern Lowestoft from a new Norfolk unitary council.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Lowestoft Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists