Dozens of workers were exposed to potentially deadly fibres because the company didn’t carry out a risk assessment to see if asbestos was present in the industrial furnace.
Bolton, UK (PRWEB UK) 17 October 2013
The fertiliser firm was prosecuted by Chester Crown Court, on Friday 4th October, after the Health and Safety Executive identified several asbestos failings.
According to the Liverpool Echo, asbestos was discovered during the refurbishment of an industrial furnace on 31st January 2011. It is believed, that contractors had been demolishing brickwork and insulation boards, unwittingly releasing asbestos fibres. Despite workers originally being told the area was safe, further analysis confirmed the presence of the hazardous material.. (1)
As reported by the Liverpool Echo, over 50 workers were exposed to potentially lethal asbestos fibres and dust.. Consequently, despite work being in progress, they were ordered to leave the workplace and their protective clothes and equipment were destroyed. (1)
An investigation by Health and Safety Executive found that the company had failed to carry out an accurate asbestos survey, before allowing the work to commence. (1)
Commenting on the news, Tom Fairclough, Executive at Asons Solicitors, said that:
“According to the Liverpool Echo’s article, it is alleged that no member of the staff involved in the refurbishment was a licensed contractor, nor they were warned about the risks of being exposed to asbestos.
“Here at Asons, we see many similar cases where safety guidelines and regulations have not been followed. I believe this incident could easily have been avoided, safeguarding the health of the workers involved. The unnecessary exposure to asbestos fibres could have been prevented, simply by adhering to basic legal requirements.”
“Those who have experienced similar working conditions, or suffer from lung cancer after being exposed to an asbestos-contaminated working environment, should not hesitate to make an asbestos claim.”
After the hearing HSE Inspector Daniel Longdon said:
“Dozens of workers were exposed to potentially deadly fibres because the company didn’t carry out a risk assessment to see if asbestos was present in the industrial furnace.
“They will have to live with the uncertainty for the rest of their lives of not knowing whether they will develop lung cancer or other diseases, such as mesothelioma, as a result.
“If the company had arranged a proper survey ahead of the work starting then the asbestos would have been identified and a licensed contractor could have been brought in to remove it safely.”
As reported by the Liverpool Echo, the Cheshire-based firm was fined £60,000, and ordered to pay £17,094 in prosecution costs, after pleading guilty to one breach of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. (1)
Asons Solicitors have a dedicated team of industrial disease specialists dealing with cases of asbestos related diseases, giving people legal advice, particularly in the area of asbestosis claims. Exposure to asbestos can be deadly, and Asons urge anyone who feels they may have been exposed to asbestos fibres to consult their GP immediately for a consultation and contact an industrial disease specialist for legal representation.
Asons Solicitors suggest that if someone would like to learn more about the asbestosis compensation process, or if they would like to better understand the condition, that information is available at http://www.asons.co.uk, or via an expert helpline on 01204 521 133
(1) Liverpool Echo, Fertiliser firm fined after workers exposed to asbestos fibres (07/10/2013) liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/fertiliser-firm-fined-after-workers-6149778
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About Asons Solicitors:
Asons Solicitors is a Bolton-based law practice that specialises in personal injury and industrial disease claims. Founded by brothers Imran Akram and Kamran Akram, Asons Solicitors has developed to become a young and dynamic law firm that delivers practical solutions to clients in times of difficulty. Their continued focus on their staff has seen them awarded with the Investors in People “Gold Award”; which is reflected in the professional and personable approach they take in working with clients. They strive to grow and to develop, and their supportiveness and attention to detail ensures that their clients use them time and again.
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