Factory chemical incident puts 11 in hospital

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Bosses at Axgro Foods insist health and safety is their ‘number one priority’ following the incident
Bosses at Axgro Foods insist health and safety is their ‘number one priority’ following the incident

Related tags East midlands Ambulance

Bosses at a Lincolnshire food factory have insisted health and safety is their “number one priority” after a chemical incident hospitalised 11 staff.

Directors at value-added vegetable processor Axgro Foods in Scunthorpe said they had taken “every reasonable precaution”​ to ensure staff were receiving the best possible care and support following the incident, which happened last Thursday (November 9).

An accidental mix of chemicals, believed to be cleaning fluids, was said to be behind the incident.

It resulted in 11 members of staff being hospitalised for precautionary checks. All have now since been discharged.

‘One-off’ incident

A spokeswoman for Axgro said it was a “one-off”​ incident that was quickly contained, and emergency services declared the factory safe for employees to return to work later on the same day.

“Due to an accidental mix of chemicals at our Scunthorpe factory, 11 members of staff were taken to hospital for precautionary checks and we are pleased to report that all have now been discharged,”​ she said.

“As a significant local employer, the health and safety of our staff is our number one priority and we have taken every reasonable precaution to ensure that our staff are receiving the best possible care and support, and that our factory is safe.

“The Health and Safety Executive has visited the site and we continue to work with them to investigate the incident and ensure all measures are taken to avoid a reoccurrence. The factory is now back open and work has recommenced.”

East Midlands Ambulance Service

A spokeswoman for East Midlands Ambulance Service confirmed a call was received from Axgro at 07:38 on November 9.

“We sent two paramedics on cars, two ambulances and our Hazardous Area Response Team – 11 patients were taken to Scunthorpe General Hospital,”​ the spokeswoman said.

Axgro specialises in adding value to locally-grown vegetables, and claimed to be one of the UK’s leading suppliers of cooked, pickled and flavoured beetroot. Axgro Foods is the trading name of the Lincolnshire Beetroot Company.

Meanwhile, two workers were hospitalised​ after a chemical incident at Moy Park’s chicken plant in Ashbourne, Derbyshire last month (October 30).

Paramedics treated 35 workers at the factory, while two patients were taken to Royal Derby Hospital with minor ailments by a non-emergency ambulance.

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