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NHS Trust and London College Fined After Failing to Prevent Death of a Lone Worker by Asphyxiation

Damian Bowen who was employed by Imperial College London was decanting liquid nitrogen in a small room which had been rented from Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust.

Mr Bowen was conducting work for the International AIDS Vaccine Institute and using the liquid nitrogen to freeze blood samples for transport.

The Health and Safety Executive found that the local exhaust ventilation provided to extract dangerous substances such as liquid nitrogen had been switched off. If that switch has been turned on then Mr Bowen would not have died.

Both the Trust and College pleaded guilty at South Southwark Crown Court to breaches of Sections 3 (1) and 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Chelsea and Westminster were fined £80,000.00 and ordered to pay costs of £23,069.19 and Imperial College London were fined £70,000.00 and ordered to pay costs of £23,069.19.

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