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NHS Trust Fined Following Asbestos Management Errors

Expert Calls For Planning Improvement


An asbestos-related disease specialist at Irwin Mitchell has urged all organisations to properly manage the deadly material in buildings, after an NHS Trust was recently fined for failings.

Northamptonshire NHS Teaching Primary Care Trust, NUTEC Security Systems Ltd and Paul Beeby of The Avenue, Flore, were all fined over an incident which saw asbestos fibres released in Isebrook Hospital, Wellingborough in 2008.

It was revealed that NUTEC engineers were employed by the Trust to upgrade security systems at the site, but the running of cables through false ceilings disturbed the material.

An investigation revealed the Trust had not ensured NUTEC had information on the presence of asbestos, while the contractor assumed the material would not be present. The Health and Safety Executive also suggested that Mr Beeby should have accessed the area and warned workers of potential risks.

Alida Coates, who provides advice to the loved ones of asbestos-related disease victims and those exposed to the material at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office, said: “This case highlights the terrible consequences that a lack of planning and a communication breakdown can have.

“Asbestos is the biggest occupational killer of all time and its presence in buildings needs to be taken seriously to ensure that no further workers – or members of the public – are exposed to it.

“Lessons need to be learnt from this incident to ensure that no one else is exposed to the material through no fault of their own.”