Contractors & Councils Risk Legal Action if Complacent about Asbestos, Warns Industrial Disease Claims Solicitors Clear Law
Specialist personal injury solicitor Clear Law has warned councils, building firms and contractors that they should be prepared to face the consequences of being ignorant about asbestos
Specialist industrial disease compensation solicitors Clear Law has warned councils, building firms and contractors that they should be prepared to face the consequences of being ignorant about asbestos.
Asbestos fibres are typically found in properties built before 2000 in the likes of cement products, insulating boards, lagging and textured coatings. The material’s fibres, when inhaled, can cause serious diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural thickening. As a result it is the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK.
It was recently revealed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which is the national independent watchdog for work-related health, safety and illness, that a building contractor based in Grantham and South Kesteven District Council were both recently fined after a spread of asbestos during renovation work at a flat in the town.
The asbestos was disturbed when workers from Belton Developments removed an asbestos insulation board from around a bath in Kinoulton Court - owned by the local authority - and carried it through the property and communal areas in an open wheelbarrow.
The work was spotted by an asbestos surveyor and eventually reported to the HSE. A licensed asbestos contractor had to decontaminate the region and perform air clearance tests.
Grantham Magistrates Court was told the council failed to supply sufficient information on asbestos in the building to the contractors before the work was carried out and did not check that the contractors were competent to work with asbestos.
In addition, Belton Developments was found to have failed ensure its employees were trained to deal with asbestos or prevent the spread of the fibres.
As a result, South Kesteven District Council was fined £16,600 and made to pay costs of £900. The contractor was fined a total of £3,003 and ordered to pay costs worth £900.
Commenting on the news, HSE inspector Mhairi Lockwood, said: “Contractors need to be aware of the potential for asbestos to be disturbed while carrying out building work and provide their employees with adequate information, instruction and training so they can protect themselves and others.”
Matt Corbett, Personal Injury Claims Solicitor at Clear Law Solicitors stated: "We have years of experience providing expert legal advice and representation to victims of industrial diseases caused by asbestos. It is clear the level of awareness of asbestos in the UK is not as high as it should be, which is worrying as it is still the biggest work-related killer.
"If building companies don’t start stepping up their efforts to protect both workers and members of the public from the dangers of asbestos, they can expect legal action to be taken by those hoping to claim compensation for their suffering, if the exposure leads to a disease like mesothelioma.
Clear Law Solicitors - construction site accident compensation claims solicitors - . Freephone 0800 783 1453 for 100% personal injury compensation. Clear Law solicitors, Manchester, UK.
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