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Chemical spill in West Lothian minimised thanks to spill response plan

Twenty three people were treated for minor injuries in Livingston after a chemical spill in the warehouse where they work. Most were discharged on the same evening, but some were admitted for further assessments.

The chemical spill happened at a Palletways freight distribution centre, when a small amount of denatonium benzoate was spilled, after a pallet was damaged by a forklift truck as it was being unloaded. Fire crews were called to the incident after staff started to feel unwell. Fire fighters wearing chemical suits sealed off the plant until the spill was identified and cleaned.

A fire service spokesperson commented:

“The chemicals involved are highly irritable chemicals but are not toxic.

“We spent two hours at the incident and the scene was declared safe by us.

The Health and Safety Executive were called to the plant to make an assessment, an HSE spokesperson said:

“HSE found that the incident was dealt with appropriately and propose no further action at this stage,”

Most of the firm’s employees are now back at work. A Palletways spokesperson said:

“Following the incident, in line with our health and safety procedures, we closed down the depot operation, whilst seeking guidance on dealing with the substance.

“We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused to both our employees and our customers.

“In line with medical advice employees who were exposed to the vapours from the chemical spillage, were admitted to hospital as a precaution."

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