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Building owner fined for asbestos exposure

Posted in: asbestos Employer Negligence mesothelioma 

An industrial property owner has been prosecuted for exposing untrained workers to dangerous asbestos fibres following a series of failings at a building in Newport.

In a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Abergavenny Magistrates’ Court heard the owner employed two workers and then helped them to remove rubbish and debris from a site that he part owned.

The debris included a large amount of asbestos insulation board (AIB), which was cleaned up in an unsafe manner.

Newport City Council notified HSE following concerns about the work. A subsequent HSE investigation found that the owner did not hold a licence to deal with asbestos in the building, and that he failed to manage the risks to those employed in the clean-up. The men he hired were also not properly trained or equipped, and weren’t decontaminated following the work.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Steve Richardson said:

“Inhaling asbestos fibres can cause cancers and lung disease, and around 4000 people die every year from asbestos-related diseases. Those at work must ensure the risk of breathing in the fibres is therefore properly controlled.”


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