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HSE fines two companies for exposing workers to asbestos

Asbestos is a toxic, fibrous substance used in building materials up until 1999, when the government recognised the significant health hazards caused by inhaling the fibres from asbestos and banned its use. There are strict guidelines in place when disturbing asbestos and removing it from buildings and it is now done by specialist companies who minimise risk of inhalation.

The HSE has fined two companies after they disturbed asbestos whilst carrying out refurbishment work and put people in the vicinity at risk of contracting serious health complications in the future.

A Magistrates’ Court heard how asbestos insulation board (AIB) was disturbed by two contractors who were unaware of its presence. The HSE found that the company who had employed the contractor to convert a commercial premise into flats had not made the contractor aware of the asbestos.

Any refurbishment work done on properties built prior to 2000 is required to have a demolition survey to clarify if there is any asbestos present. This was not done and so the two workers who removed the AIB were exposed to asbestos fibres which may have a detrimental impact to their health.

The company who owned the building were fined £10,000 and costs of £1020.64 plis a £1000 victim surcharge for breaching Regulation 10(1)(b) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and the contractor was fined £5,000 and £974.44 costs plus £500 for a victim surcharge for breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 197.

Employers have a duty to comply with Health and Safety laws and regulations and provide there employees with a safe workplace accident free environment, and if they don’t fulfil this then they are breaking the law, as well as putting you at risk. If you have an accident at work as a result then you have a right to file an injury at work claim against them.

We offer a free initial interview in order to review your specific circumstances and assess the viability of your personal injury claim.

To speak to one of our specialist team call us now on FREEPHONE 0800 1979 345, or complete our simple enquiry form and we can call you back at a time to suit you.