Refurbishment Firm Slammed with Hefty Fine over Asbestos Exposure
John Todd Ltd, of Middletown, Powys, a refurbishment firm, has been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £10,000 costs after a court deemed it had acted negligently during a recent job, and that this negligence had led to its employees’ exposure to harmful asbestos fibres.
The company had been commissioned to refurbish a building on an Oswestry estate. They were made aware that the building contained asbestos and that licensed asbestos removal contractors had been called in, however when the licensed contractors arrived they discovered that employees of John Todd Ltd. had already begun to dismantle the building’s interior.
The court heard that company director John Todd had been involved in the removal of materials from the building, and that no safety precautions had been taken during its removal.
An inspector for the Health and Safety Executive, the body responsible for the prosecution, commented: “John Todd Ltd showed an absolute disregard for the health and safety of workers on the site by allowing work with asbestos to take place fully aware it was present.
“It is well known throughout industry that exposure to asbestos fibres can cause premature death, yet this company chose to expose its workers to this risk.”
Asbestos fibres are known to cause life-threatening illnesses including Mesothelioma, Asbestosis and asbestos-related lung cancer. Employees of construction and refurbishment firms regularly develop these illnesses as a result of the negligence of their employers.
Helen Grieves, of asbestos-related illness compensation claims specialists Grieves Solicitors, commented: “It is unacceptable that companies like John Todd Ltd. are still so ignorant about the dangers of asbestos.
“We see many claims for people suffering from fatal illnesses whose original exposure to asbestos fibres happened years ago. To think that even in these more enlightened times, when the HSE does so much to protect people from the dangers of asbestos, people are still regularly being exposed to it, is terrible.”
Asbestos is the biggest single cause of work-related deaths in the UK, with an estimated 4,000 people dying every year.
Based in Huddersfield, Grieves Solicitors specialise in asbestos-related illness compensation claims. Helen Grieves is a qualified solicitor with a Diploma in Advanced Litigation from Leeds Metropolitan University and a Master Degree in Advanced Litigation from Nottingham Trent University. For more information, visit their website: http://www.grieves-solicitors.co.uk/.
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