Hotel chain fined for asbestos risk

A popular hotel chain has been ordered to pay more than £200,000 in fines and costs after construction workers and guests were put at risk of asbestos exposure at a Kent hotel.

Between February and July of 2010, Britannia Hotels of Cheshire had failed to ensure a full asbestos survey was carried out prior to the refurbishment work at The Grand Burstin Hotel In Folkstone.

During the hearing at CanterBury Crown Court, it was revealed that an asbestos consultant had discovered a widespread presence of Asbestos where work had already commenced. The presence of asbestos was likely to be linked to the removal of the walls and ceiling during the refurbishment.

A licensed asbestos contractor had to be called in to remove the material and seal off the contaminated area to prevent fibres spreading to other parts of the hotel. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was also notified.

Due to the long latency period of asbestos-related illnesses, it is not yet known whether any construction workers or hotel guests were directly affected. Inhaling asbestos fibres can cause serious diseases such as lung cancer or lung scarring, but symptoms can take years to develop after exposure.

Britannia Hotels Ltd, of Hale Road, Cheshire, pleaded guilty to two separate breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined a total of £160,000 and ordered to pay £40,051 in costs.

For more information about working safely with asbestos visit

http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/index.htm

Armco are fully qualified and insured to implement various types of asbestos related surveying: Management Surveys and, Refurbishment and Demolition Surveys. We can also provide advice on a consultancy basis to ensure that the Duty Holder is able to use the report to ensure they operate within the asbestos related regulations by implementing the recommendations, thus protecting lives. Call the Armco office for further information on 0161 763 3727.

 

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Published Apr 11, 2013
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