Firm fined £120,000 For Asbestos Breach
A car manufacturer has been fined £120,000 and ordered to pay £11,779 in prosecution costs after they pleaded guilty to a single breach of Section 3 (1) the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The breach was due to contamination of asbestos found in one of the car manufacturer’s plants in Ellesmere Port.
The HSE found the firm had hired contractors to carry out work which included replacing high pressure water boilers with gas burners, whilst doing so the contractors found insulated boards beneath the external cladding on the building. The asbestos register was unavailable to the contractors so they were not able to confirm whether the insulted boards contained asbestos when they were discovered. The contractors submitted a risk assessment and a method statement when they carried out the work; however, the firm did not review the assessment. Failure to review the assessment and the insulated boards meant no instruction to cease work was given; therefore, the work was carried out. The sampling of the boards had found that the boards had contained asbestos.
HSE Inspector, Jane Carroll, said “Asbestos kills around 5,000 workers each year, this is more than the number killed on UK roads.
Asbestos can be present within any premises built or refurbished before the year 2000.
Whenever asbestos containing materials are found to be present, companies have a legal duty to document and implement an asbestos management plan which includes measures to adequately control the risk of exposure to asbestos fibres.”
The firm were guilty of failure of taking the necessary precautions when the contractors were handling the insulated boards. This failure meant that the contractors were exposed to risks associated with asbestos.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a material which was often used as building materials, it was often used for insulation and sprayed coatings on ceilings and walls. It was once dubbed the “miracle mineral” and lauded for its versatility, the fibres are extremely durable and resistant to heat, fire and various chemicals. This was the main reason why it was used industrially and commercially for many years.
Exposure to the fibres can cause extremely harmful respiratory conditions, most common being asbestosis and mesothelioma.
What is Asbestosis?
Asbestosis is a long term lung condition, it develops around 20-30 years after you have inhaled asbestos fibres. The fibres get lodged inside your lungs which cause scarring and eventually leads to hardening and shrinking of the lungs which causes you to suffer with a range of different symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, a persistent cough or pains in your chest and shoulder.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer which is caused by asbestos exposure. Similar to asbestosis, it usually develops around 20-30 years after you have inhaled asbestos fibres. Mesothelioma affects the protective lining found around the internal organs of the body. This fatal condition damages the pleura around the lungs which lead to breathing problems. Symptoms include shortness of breath, cough, fever, excessive sweating and fatigue.
Roberts Jackson Solicitors are experts in dealing with asbestosis and mesothelioma cases with a team of solicitors and fee earners, who have a vast amount of experience. If you would like to see if you are eligible to make a claim for a condition caused by asbestos exposure please feel free to get in touch using our Freephone number 0800 001 4496 or alternatively you can fill one of our contact forms found on the right hand side of this page. We provide a No Win No Fee service, one of our advisors will call you back at a time convenient for you.