sexta-feira, 9 de agosto de 2013


INVESTIGATIONS are still ongoing at a Uttoxeter abattoir after a slaughterman became the only meat worker in the country to die after contracting bovine tuberculosis (TB).
Peter Sargeant, of Stramshall, died at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital on May 28 last year after contracting the disease, which is usually a major killer of cattle and wildlife.
Now the Health and Safety Executive has revealed a full investigation into TS Sargeant Abattoir, in Roycroft Grange, Bramshall, where Mr Sargeant worked, is ongoing.
Dr Ian Scott, a consultant pathologist at Queen’s Medical Centre, in Nottingham, told the inquest, held at Burton Town Hall, that the limited post mortem concentrated on his chest and samples were sent to Birmingham, which confirmed the unusual cause of death.
He said the bovine TB is contracted by contact with an infected animal carcass through ‘aerosol’ spread such as blood and urine.
Dr Scott said it was difficult to know how long the 53-year-old had the infection as it had spread throughout his body. However, he had suspicions it was a probably a more recent infection that had spread quickly.
Mr Sargeant was always with beef cattle as he would rear them and then work as a slaughterman for the abattoir, which is registered to slaughter cattle infected with bovine TB.
Lynne Spooner, an inspector for the HSE, said an investigation had originally been carried out to ensure there was not an epidemic as the abattoir was registered to take infected cattle from surrounding farms as well as from Mr Sargeant’s own farm.
Her investigation did raise concerns as she found the cattle infected with bovine TB were being slaughtered but there were no controls in place to stop the aerosols from the carcasses
Miss Spooner found there was a presence of bovine TB and the workers were being exposed to it through the aerosols.
She added: “What we don’t know is the exact point when he contracted bovine TB as we cannot categorically say because of his work at the abattoir. There is also the potential he was exposed to it on his own farm as well.
“The HSE has done extensive work to monitor the risk and this has been looked into in great detail. We are currently awaiting the results of a risk assessment.”
Miss Spooner told the inquest that they had seen a significant increase in cattle infected with the disease in the last 10 years and samples sent off for testing from TS Sargeant found 50 per cent were returned positive.
She said the transmission of bovine TB to humans in the general population had decreased but it is difficult to say from occupational exposure as workers may develop it later in life when their immune system has weakened.
South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh said Mr Sargeant died from multiply organ failure, pulmonary (bovine) tuberculosis and ulcerative colitis.
He ruled his death was due to industrial disease.
Mr Haigh said: “Where and when he became infected is unclear but maybe it was a more recent rather than historic infection.
“The colitis he was being treated for may have made the infection develop quicker.
“The likelihood is he caught the infection from his work at the slaughterhouse as opposed to the farm but we cannot be sure about this.
“I would like to convey my sympathy to Mr Sargeant’s family. This is very rare but I am sorry this happened in your husband’s case.”
He added that this was the only case they are aware of in the country.
TS Sargeant Abattoir said it had no comment on the investigation

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