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Cement ignorance costs dear in burns case

AN ESSEX firm has been fined £15,000 after a worker suffered serious burns after kneeling in wet cement for five hours while screeding a floor.

Plasterer Kevin Creak was asked to lay the floor while working for Loughton-based Galliard Homes at Marble Arch Apartments in west London in March 2005.

Mr Creak was not wearing any protective equipment and did not realise he was burning because the chemicals in cement attack the nerve-endings first so he felt nothing.

There had been no risk assessment or method statement completed for the work, and neither Mr Creak nor the site manager were aware of the dangers of working with wet cement.

Following the hearing at City of London Magistrates' Court last week HSE inspector Lisa Chappell said: 'Cement is widely used throughout the construction industry and requires a thorough risk assessment.'