Asbestos Specialists Back Calls For Hospital Workers To Get Justice

Health Board 'May Not Be Prosecuted Over Exposure'

15.08.2011

Authorities have been urged by asbestos-related disease specialists at Irwin Mitchell to do all they can to ensure workers exposed to the material at a hospital in Wales can gain access to justice over the issue.

The Health and Safety Executive has announced that, although breaches occurred at Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth, the health board involved is not likely to be prosecuted as criminal liabilities were not transferred from NHS Trusts to successor health boards after reforms in 2009.

Hywel Dda Health Board has confirmed that maintenance staff may have been exposed to asbestos at the site, with the issue arising between 2004 and 2009.

Trade union UCATT has criticised the announcement and urged that an investigation is held into how this issue came to occur.

Geraldine Coombs, a Partner and asbestos expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office who acts for a number of asbestos-related illness victims in Wales, has joined calls for the workers to seek justice over the issue.

She outlined: “Exposure to asbestos can have a terrible impact on people’s lives and many of the cases of asbestos-related illness we see are the direct result of employers failing to do enough to protect staff – both in industrial environments and in public buildings like schools and hospitals.

“Where an employer has risked the health of their staff they should be held to account.”