“Company Fined £60,000 for Exposing People to Asbestos Dust and Fibres,” Asons Solicitors Comment

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According to Health and Safety Executive (HSE), a Dorset-based firm has been fined with a total of £60,000 for safety breaches, after exposing a series of people, and workers, to asbestos at a disused factory in Poole. (1)

Asbestos Sign

Asbestos Sign

Asbestos-related diseases kill more people than any other single work-related cause. All types of asbestos can be dangerous if disturbed. The danger arises when asbestos fibres become airborne.

The company was prosecuted by Bournemouth Magistrates Court on Tuesday 17 September, after Health and Safety Executive identified failings and lack of training for workers involved. (1)

According to the HSE, the Dorset-based company had agreed to sell the redundant plant to a local trader. It is believed that between October 2010 and April 2011, the trader unwittingly released asbestos dust and fibres whilst demolishing part of a disused pottery kiln. (1)

Although an asbestos survey was commissioned in May 2011, it is alleged that the firm allowed work to take place on site before the survey was completed, in August of the same year. Moreover, even after receiving the survey report, which said that asbestos debris was found and the area should not be accessible, the firm allegedly allowed work to carry on. (1)

Speaking after the hearing at Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court, HSE Inspector, James Powell said:

"They failed to identify that asbestos containing material was present on the site before the work started, resulting in failure to properly manage the work or provide appropriate protection for workers. Worse still, they allowed this work to continue even after they were in possession of a report showing asbestos was present and advising that the area should be made out of bounds.

"Asbestos-related diseases kill more people than any other single work-related cause. All types of asbestos can be dangerous if disturbed. The danger arises when asbestos fibres become airborne. They form a very fine dust. Breathing asbestos dust can cause serious damage to the lungs and cause cancer." (1)

The company pleaded guilty to three breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. The court fined the firm £60,000, ordering a further £20,000 to be paid in costs.

Commenting on the news, Tom Fairclough, Executive from Asons Solicitors, said that:

“According to the HSE Press Release, it is alleged that no adequate safety measures were in place, which meant the firm failed to warn workers about the dangers of asbestos exposure. The exposure to airborne asbestos fibres was entirely preventable, and these circumstances highlight the importance of asbestos surveys.”

He added:

“I strongly feel that no one should suffer because of employer negligence. 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.”

Asons Solicitors have a dedicated team of industrial disease specialists, dealing with cases of asbestos related diseases. Their expert’s give 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 asbestos compensation process, or if they would like to better understand the condition, such information is available at http://www.asons.co.uk, or via an expert helpline on 01204 521 133.

(1)    HSE – Fines imposed for asbestos exposure at former factory in Poole, 18/09/2013 hse.gov.uk/press/2013/rnn-sw-poole-investments.htm

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.

For further information, contact:
Email: info(at)asons(dot)co(dot)uk
Website: http://www.asons.co.uk

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