Workplace Report October 2008

Health & safety news

Recycling workers exposed to mercury

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is investigating after workers at a recycling firm were exposed to mercury.

Staff at Electrical Waste Recycling Co Ltd in Huddersfield were put at risk after removing mercury from fluorescent light tubes. Although medical checks have not revealed any ill-health effects, the process has ceased until the investigation has ended. Occupational hygienists were brought in to carry out a risk assessment.

Mercury poisoning damages the immune system and kidneys. Symptoms include memory loss, mood instability, headaches, visual and hearing problems.