Asbestos News

A story appeared on BBC news recently which highlights the failings of companies to properly recognise the dangers of asbestos.  Angus Group Ltd, an asbestos removal firm, was fined £109,000 when it failed to adequately carry out the proper risk assessments before beginning asbestos removal work during the demolition of a primary school in Lincoln. 

A new bill designed to re-claim the medical costs of treating people suffering from asbestos related disease has been launched. It’s backed by leading asbestos charities, politicians and Thompsons Solicitors, Scotland’s most experienced asbestos lawyers. The Recovery of Medical Costs for Asbestos Diseases Bill will allow the NHS to claw back the enormous costs associated with caring for people who contracted industrial diseases like Mesothelioma which is caused by exposure to asbestos.

A Wokingham business has been fined £28,000 and ordered to pay £22,631 in costs for failing to alert two subcontractors of the presence of asbestos in the workplace.

Gardener Mechanical Services Ltd had been contracted to carry out a mechanical upgrade in a room at Reading University. They subcontracted out the work to a Newbury based company who then subcontracted two self employed males to carry out the work.

Staffordshire City Council and a firm of building contractors hired to undertake refurbishment work in a local school have been fined £27,000 collectively for exposing nursery children, teaching staff and two joiners to asbestos fibres.

High street firm, Marks & Spencer, has been fined one million pounds after failing to properly investigate asbestos complaints. A judge has found that the lack of investigation into these asbestos claims has put customers and staff at risk of asbestos exposure for more than 10 years.

An investigatory programme carried out by the BBC found that a health and safety manager in 1998 complained to the chairman of the company, Sir Richard Greenbury, after a contractor complained that asbestos cladding was stripped using a sledgehammer and found that asbestos was ‘everywhere’ around the London Marble Arch store.

A change in politics has found Canada announcing its 130 year history of asbestos mining and exportation will be coming to an end. Politicians have also announced the end for the all too common practice of defending asbestos mining and exportation on the world stage.

An online seminar on asbestos litigation is to be extended to allow more people to take part due to high volume of demand. Thompsons Solicitors, the market leaders in asbestos litigation, is running the online tutorial which examines best practice around asbestos related claims.

The risks posed by asbestos have been known for many years, but despite all the warnings, rules and regulations, people are still being exposed to the dangerous fibres every day.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral with fire-resistant properties, which made it very popular with builders and manufacturers for most of the 20th century. Unfortunately, the fibrous nature of the substance, useful in commercial processes, was also found to carry serious health risks, including the risk of developing conditions now known as asbestosis, mesothelioma and pleural thickening.

The Department of Work and Pensions yesterday announced a £300 million fund of last resort for those sufferers of mesothelioma who have been unable to obtain compensation as their former employer or its liability insurers cannot be traced.  There are around 300 sufferers annually who are in the situation where they are unable to claim and lose out on compensation.

PRESS RELEASE FROM THOMPSONS SOLICITORS - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chris Gordon, PartnerThompsons Solicitors is to hold a public meeting with local politicians, officials and residents at St Mark’s Church Hall, Shettleston next week following a recent asbestos scare in the area.
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