OP PoisoningHave you been poisoned by OP sheep dip pesticides?
How can sheep dip harm you?
Dip products contain hazardous substances and if mishandled can make you seriously ill, harm the animals themselves or pollute the environment. They can enter the body:
- Via the skin
- Via the mouth (i.e. by contamination of food and drink)
- By a person breathing in vapour or an aerosol containing them
Workers are most at risk of having dip products enter the body through the skin, both during and after the dipping process has taken place (through the handling of sheep). During the process there can be splashes of dip concentrate or dilute solution and a risk of the skin coming into contact with contaminated materials (i.e. through clothing or the fleece of a freshly dipped sheep).
The risk extends to colleagues, suppliers and family members who may come into contact with contaminated clothing further down the line. Those shearing and scanning the sheep can also be affected. Contractors are likely to be at greater risk due to them regularly using large amounts of dip.
How you can control the risk
There are a number of simple physical controls that can be implemented to help minimise the likelihood of workers coming into contact with the dip such as:
- Fitting a screen across the dip’s entry slope to minimise the risk of splashes
- Fitting splash boards at waist height where operators are at risk of being splashed
- Fitting a metal handle to the dip to make it easier to grip and avoid damage to the workers’ gloves.
It is important that workers handling sheep dip wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to minimise any risk to their health. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends that those working with sheep dip should wear:
- Non-lined synthetic rubber gloves
- Waterproof leggings/trousers made of nitrile/PVC
- Waterproof nitrile/PVC coat or bib apron worn over a boiler suit or similar
- Wellington boots
- A face shield or waterproof hat
If you or your loved one has suffered as a result of working with sheep dip you might be able to make a claim for compensation. Give us a call on 0800 122 3130 or contact us online here to discuss your legal options.
For more information on OP Poisoning including information on support groups visit: Farmers Guardian.
Claiming For Agricultural Diseases
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