A recent news story about a fatal holiday accident in Thailand has thrown into sharp relief the dangers of negligent health and safety at hotels and other holiday complexes.
Some individuals make compensation claims against package holiday providers or hotel owners when they sustain uncomfortable bed bug bites from sheets and mattresses in the rooms offered to tourists.
However, several deaths at a hotel in Thailand have shown that some businesses may not be careful enough when trying to rid their bed linen of the irritating animals.
The fatalities, originally suspected to be food poisoning cases, are now thought to have been caused by chlorpyrifos poisoning. Chlorpyrifos is a chemical found in a pesticide which has been banned for indoor use in many countries and is quickly absorbed into the system.
One of the chemical poisoning casualties at the hotel was found to have suffered from inflammation of the heart - he had not suffered any previous heart problems. Her two friends had not been diagnosed with heart difficulties, yet one of the companions only survived her encounter with the chemical after receiving emergency heart surgery.
Although the hotel could be said to be commended for trying to erradicate bed bugs from the hotel rooms for the comfort of their customers, they do not seem to have thought about the harmful affects of the pesticide they where using and did not use it in the correct way.
So far, seven tourists have died at the hotel, but the officials at the Chiang Mai resort have brushed off the events as "bad luck for that hotel".
Any legal actions against the hotel or attempts to act upon the safety concern have not been reported on, but the hotel will hopefully realise that they are not correctly instructing their cleaners on how to use the spray or are using the wrong kind of chemicals.
Of course, another possibility is that the spray itself has been poorly labelled and that it could be seen as the manufacturer's fault for not providing clear warnings of the health risks of the chemical inside their pesticide spray.
This would mean that instead of pursuing a holiday accident claim solely against the hotel owners, the manufacturers of the pesticide may be jointly liable under product liability law.
Either way, victims of personal injury on holiday, or their families, should not suffer in silence if they feel that compensation is due to them.
It can sometimes be difficult to communicate a health and safety error to authorities abroad, and family members of the victims of this holiday accident might find it difficult to make a claim for their loss as a result.
However, the hotel, or pesticide manufacturer, must be made aware of its negligence and any individuals affected by the failure in their duty of care towards customers should be entitled to compensation.
Holiday accident claims are not unusual, and good solicitors can often enable individuals to gain the damages settlement they are entitled to for a company's wrong-doing.
Published on 1970-01-01 09:42:00