Hospital staff exposed to asbestos at work

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Hospital fined after contractors & staff exposed to asbestos at work

Hospital contractors and staff were exposed to asbestos at work while working for the Royal Shrewsbury hospital.

As a result, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust have received a fine totaling £16,000 and have also been ordered to pay more than £18,000 in costs.

The staff were exposed to asbestos at work during refurbishment that was carried out in an accommodation block at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

This occurred back in June 2012 when the employees were removing fixtures and fittings from an empty flat.

They disturbed asbestos containing materials as a result of this work.

At a court hearing, it was revealed that the Trust subsequently failed to then take appropriate action in dealing with the initial release of asbestos, therefore exposing other contractors who were to later work in the flat.

HSE carried out investigation

The HSE carried out their own investigation and found that the Trust did not properly record asbestos containing materials which were present on their estate.

Their asbestos management plan was not recorded in a “clear and concise manner” or effectively communicated to its staff and contractors working on site.

Shrewsbury & Telford NHS Trust - staff were exposed to asbestos at work
Shrewsbury & Telford NHS Trust – staff were exposed to asbestos at work

David Kivlin, HSE inspector, said, “The Trust should have controlled this potentially lethal risk by identifying the type, location and condition of any asbestos-containing-materials within the accommodation block at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, by implementing suitable precautions to prevent its disturbance”.

“Although there is no indication that members of the public at the hospital were exposed as a result of the failings, asbestos related diseases are currently untreatable and claim the lives of an estimated 5,000 people per year in the UK”.

“This prosecution should act as a reminder, not just to hospitals but to anyone in control of the repair and maintenance of non-domestic premises, of the need to ensure that correct control measures are put in place to ensure that exposure to asbestos is prevented, so far as is reasonably practicable.”

Did you find this article interesting?  Then check out our other interesting articles below.

Duty holders and employers have a legal responsibility to manage asbestos in their properties, carrying out an asbestos survey in their building so as not to put employees at risk.

So make sure you contact our Armco office to arrange an asbestos survey, before it’s too late! 

Whether you need an asbestos management survey, or a refurbishment/ demolition survey, contact us on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting https://www.armco.org.uk/

Finally, for all your asbestos training needs call 0161 761 4424 or visit https://www.armcoasbestostraining.co.uk/to book an asbestos awareness training course.

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Published May 14, 2019
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