Beechdean Farm have been fined after an employee was permanently blinded after being sprayed in the face by corrosive chemicals.

At a High Wycombe Magistrates' appearance, the court heard how the employee was cleaning the walls at the dairy farm in North Dean, using a corrosive disinfectant which contained potassium hydroxide.

The pump sprayer unexpectedly developed a fault – ruptur9ing in to the4 face of the employee.

His face became covered in the disinfectant, leaving him permanently blind in both eyes.

An investigation from the HSE found that Beechdean Farm failed to plan and supervise the use of chemicals for cleaning the dairy and did not have effective emergency arrangements in place.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and were fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,879.94.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Stephen Faulkner said: “While it was possible for both the pump sprayer and the chemical to be used for cleaning, this incident could so easily have been avoided by implementing correct control measures, safe working practices and appropriate emergency arrangements.

“Agriculture is an industry with a high accident rate, and the chemicals and activity involved in this incident are common in dairy farming, so this case should send a message to farms about the dangers of working with chemicals.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”