Waltham Forest Council Admits Asbestos Failings

One Worker Claims The Council Put His Life At Risk By Exposing Him To Asbestos


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463
Waltham Forest Council has admitted contravening health and safety guidelines as it failed to control employees’ exposure to asbestos in the basement of its town hall in Walthamstow.

The council admitted it should have “done more in the past” to manage asbestos safely.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into two incidents in November 2006 and two more in January 2009 found the council had not taken sufficient steps to protect members of staff.

A spokesperson for Waltham Forest council said that the asbestos issues dated back to 2002 and that the local authority should have taken steps to manage the health and safety issue.

"In 2012 a fresh asbestos survey indicated the problem, and we have been working with the Health and Safety Executive to make sure that nothing like this happens in the future,” they added.

In 2012 investigations discovered asbestos dust present in much of the basement, with deposits of the substance, which can cause a number of serious disease and conditions, behind skirting boards in the corridors.

Former Waltham Forest Council worker, Kenneth Moore, who worked in the basement of the town hall between 2009 and 2012, told local media that the council took a risk with his life and those of his colleagues when it failed to implement the correct health and safety measures to control asbestos exposure.

If you or a loved one has been affected by an asbestos related illness, our asbestos solicitors can help you to claim compensation. Read our Asbestos-Related Disease Claims Guide for more information.

Expert Opinion
Recent statistics from the HSE indicate that there are a growing number of people who have been exposed to asbestos while working in public buildings, such as schools, hospitals and council facilities.

“It is crucial these types of buildings are managed correctly and measures are put in place to prevent members of staff being exposed to asbestos. The dangers of asbestos dust and fibres have been known for some time and we hope prosecutions such as this one will further cement the need for employers to take their health and safety responsibilities seriously, particularly where asbestos is concerned.

“In our work we represent clients who go through extreme pain and suffering as a result of their exposure to the substance during their employment.

“A failure to control asbestos exposure is unacceptable and we hope this case will lead to improved safety measures across the board, to reduce the number of people suffering serious illnesses caused by exposure that could easily have been avoided.”
Adrian Budgen, Partner