Contractor And Council Fined Over Asbestos Exposure

Specialist Calls Lessons To Be Learnt

08.09.2011

South Kesteven District Council and a building contractor have been fined over an incident in which workers failed to manage the handling of asbestos in the correct manner.

The incident happened at the end of March 2010, when workers from Belton Developments were converting a bathroom into a wet room at a property owned by the local authority and removed asbestos insulation board from around the bath.

They then carried the material through the flat and communal areas in an open wheelbarrow and then into an open-topped van – which is when the work was spotted by a surveyor working on the flat above.

South Kesteven District Council has been fined more than £16,000 after failing to provide adequate information on the presence of asbestos, while the three partners of Belton Developments were prosecuted over not providing proper training on the issue.

Adrian Budgen, a Partner and head of the national asbestos disease litigation team at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Our work regularly highlights the devastating impact that asbestos can have on workers when it is not handled in the correct manner.

“Many of our clients have developed the terminal cancer mesothelioma as a result of their employer’s negligence in relation to asbestos and it is simply unacceptable that the same mistakes in terms of protecting people from the material may still be happening.

“Health and safety must always be a priority in the workplace and this means that the provision of the best possible training and equipment is a necessity. Lessons need to be learnt from cases like this if more workers – and the public – are to be protected from asbestos.”