New recruits to the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) who were injured in a CS gas training exercise have secured compensation totalling approximately £18,000.

The injured officers were among a number of new recruits taking part in a training exercise intended to familiarise them with use of the gas, which is sometimes used to control crowds. During the exercise, the gas was sprayed at floor level and the officers were required to walk through the cloud it formed. Unfortunately, the gas being used was ten times stronger than that ordinarily used on the street. The effect was made worse by the fact that, as it was raining, the exercise was carried out indoors.

At the time, the recruits appeared to recover normally. However, some of them had developed blisters and burns by the time they returned to work in the next few days. One officer was still suffering from the after-effects of the training exercise a year later.

The trainees involved brought a personal injury claim against GMP after attempts to reach a negotiated settlement failed. It has been reported that GMP has now paid out compensation to the 18 officers affected, with an average settlement of just under £1,000 each.

Following the incident, the CS gas training guidelines used by the force have been revised.

Employers have a duty to take reasonable steps to safeguard the health and safety of their employees. If you have been injured or become ill as a result of exposure to hazardous chemicals at work, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us for advice on how to proceed.