19 May 1995

Farmworker sues over OPdip illness claim…

A PETERBOROUGH farm worker is taking his former employer to the High Court after claiming that an organophosphorus insecticide damaged his health.

John Hall, Woodnewton, Peterborough, issued a writ at Londons High court claiming more than £50,000 in damages. Mr Hill said he can no longer work with chemicals after being exposed to Actellic D. He blamed his ex-employer William Tomkins, Spar Farm, Apethorpe, Peterborough.

In-store treatment

His writ claims that from early 1993 he was instructed to treat grain in store with the insecticide and to use spraying equipment. It says he carried out this work for about 10 days in May 1993 and was also exposed to chemicals from a fogging machine in a store.

Immediately afterwards he said he felt ill but the writ claims he was required to use the substance again in August 1993 and immediately felt unwell again.

Mr Hill claimed he was sacked in April 1994 because of his ill health.

He said he still suffers from the effects of chronic chemical poisoning and is still unable to work.

The writ accuses his employer of negligence for failing to warn him of the dangers of exposure to the insecticide and failing to provide adequate protective clothing. It also accuses the company of failing to provide a sealed mixing vessel and failing to follow the guidance of the Health and Safety Executive, and Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food codes on pesticides.

No date has yet been fixed for hearing of the action.