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Simon tells his story of living with Mesothelioma

I had the pleasure of meeting Simon and his wife Zana recently.  In this video produced by CITB Simon tells his story of living with Mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that can be caused by breathing in asbestos fibres. There is currently no cure for mesothelioma – it is a terminal disease. Over 5000 people per year still die from Asbestos related diseases, that is more than die on UK roads every year. Please share this video with colleagues, friends and family to help raise awareness of this everyday hazard which is all too easily forgotten. More information on working safely and managing the risks from asbestos is available from the Health and Safety Executive.  The film is also available to watch and share on CITB’s YouTube channel.

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Essex companies fined after workers exposed to asbestos

The HSE has reported on a recent case,

Two Essex-based companies have been fined after exposing workers to potentially deadly asbestos over a period of years, despite being alerted to the risks at their premises.

Basildon Crown Court heard that asbestos was found in poor condition when Connect Packaging Ltd moved into industrial units in Manor Road Trading Estate, Benfleet in 2007, but that it failed to act to control risk. As a result, its employees were exposed to risk from airborne asbestos fibres.

When Connect Packaging Ltd moved out of the units in January 2009, it sublet them to Creo Retail Marketing Ltd, another company within its group, but continued to exercise some control over maintenance and repair work at the premises.

In 2014, Creo Retail Marketing Ltd undertook its own asbestos survey following the appointment of a new health and safety officer. This confirmed continuing risk of exposure to airborne asbestos fibres from sources including poorly-enscapsulated blue asbestos (crocidolite).

Despite this, workers remained exposed to these risks while the companies debated their responsibility for its removal and failed to act effectively to prevent exposure.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation and its scientists found asbestos fibres at locations including the workers’ clocking-in point, on rafters above work areas, and within a stationery cupboard.

When asbestos fibres become airborne, they can be inhaled, and these tiny fibres are known to cause respiratory diseases and cancers which can be fatal. The court heard that workers at both companies were exposed to risk over an extended period of time.

Connect Packaging Ltd, registered at 91 Soho Hill, Birmingham was fined £65,000 and ordered to pay £8,150.23 in costs after pleading guilty to a breach of Section 4 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Creo Retail Marketing Ltd, registered at 350 Euston Road, London, was fined £150,000 and ordered to pay £8,149.63 in costs after pleading guilty to breaches of Sections 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Nikki Hughes said:

“Connect Packaging Ltd is now under new ownership but while it held the tenants- repairing-lease on the rented units it had a legal duty to manage asbestos within these non-domestic premises, as did its sub-tenant, Creo Retail Marketing Ltd.

“After this asbestos was identified, both companies should have acted promptly and effectively to control the potentially lethal risk to which their workers were exposed. Asbestos-related disease has a long latency period, so we cannot predict the consequences this failure to manage asbestos may have on their workers’ health.

“This prosecution should act as a reminder to all persons in control of the repair and maintenance of non-domestic premises of the need to ensure that the correct control measures are put in place to prevent exposure to asbestos, so far as is reasonably practicable.”

Need to book an Asbestos Survey or Legionella Risk Assessment?

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Based near Stafford in Staffordshire we are ideally placed to carry out an Asbestos Survey or Legionella Risk Assessment in Stoke on Trent, Birmingham, West Midlands, Cheshire, Manchester East Midlands and North West

Analyst fined for falsifying asbestos documents.

The HSE has reported about a recent case in which they have been investigating,

An asbestos analyst has been fined after he falsified an asbestos air clearance certificate, following licensed asbestos removal in Manchester.

Greater Manchester Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Manchester and Salford Court House, heard how, on 19th November 2015, Mr Barrie Lyons, a well-trained asbestos analyst with 29 years of experience, was contracted to carry out the final inspection and air testing, following asbestos removal at a construction site in central Manchester.

Mr Lyons’ task included a thorough examination of the area where asbestos had been removed from, within the defined enclosure itself and the areas surrounding it. He also had a series of air samples to collect and evaluate, to ensure that the air was substantially free of asbestos.

The investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that Mr Lyons had failed to carry out a suitable inspection of the site and had not carried out the correct amount of air sampling, despite his report to his employer and the client indicating that he had. In effect, Mr Lyons had deliberately falsified his report and so his published results could no longer be relied upon. The asbestos removal contractor had no option but to have a second clearance test carried out which incurred significant delays and additional expense.

HSE inspector Matthew Greenly said after the hearing: “Asbestos analysts play a vital role in ensuring that areas are safe to enter after asbestos is removed. Mr Lyons sadly chose on this occasion to falsify his records which was a massive abuse of the trust placed in him by the client.

“This deliberate act increased the risk of numerous people potentially being exposed to asbestos, a risk Mr Lyons would be very well aware of from his experience, all to save a little time and finish the job early.

“It is hoped that the industry uses this case as a reminder that anyone involved in asbestos removal must do everything reasonable to protect people from a material which causes around 4000 deaths per year in the UK.”

Mr Barrie Lyons, of Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £2000 and ordered to pay costs of £3905.73

Need to book an Asbestos Survey or Legionella Risk Assessment?

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Based near Stafford in Staffordshire we are ideally placed to carry out an Asbestos Survey or Legionella Risk Assessment in Stoke on Trent, Birmingham, West Midlands, Cheshire, Manchester East Midlands and North West

 

Mesothelioma UK Winter Newsletter

Mesothelioma UK produces a seasonal newsletter to keep readers up to date with the latest news stories and peoples personal stories. Follow this link to download and read Mesothelioma UK Winter Newsletter

Need to book an Asbestos Survey or Legionella Risk Assessment?

Call us now on 0808 1080 766, complete our simple call back form or

Click here to email and one of our team will contact you to discuss your requirement and provide a quote

Based near Stafford in Staffordshire we are ideally placed to carry out an Asbestos Survey or Legionella Risk Assessment in Stoke on Trent, Birmingham, West Midlands, Cheshire, Manchester East Midlands and North West

The Asbestos Industry Mourns the Loss of one of it’s Innovators

IATP today report the untimely passing of Mr Max Lopacki of NATAS.

Max who was an instrumental player in the development of asbestos training for decades, covering all areas from Asbestos Awareness to licensed training along with his hard work and expertise in getting Asbestos Awareness E-Learning recognised by the HSE with his development of ASHEeLA.

Paul Beaumont CEO of IATP writes that Max was a proud family man, a loving husband to his wife Jo and great and devoted father to his three sons, Patrick, Joszef and Michael. Max has been an active member of the IATP since its formation, he supported the annual dinners, worked on the IATP Working Group and promoted the IATP through his own company whenever the chance arose.

More recently Max had become deeply involved in the Nuclear sector as well as developing a company with son Patrick in 3603D laser scanning and imaging.

Over his life, Max had taught thousands of people on the subject of asbestos, myself having been one of the lucky ones. I took all of my BOHS courses with Max and his company. He was the first person ever to inform me of the real  dangers of asbestos. Max had asbestos training in his heart, he delivered it with elegance, style and passion and always with a healthy sense of humour and a cheeky smile.

Max believed in living for the day. He commanded respect whenever he entered a room. He would often sit in meetings as the quiet one, taking in the information, listening to the debates and conversations, then having heard the argument, he always came forward with his grounded approach and respected views.

Tenacious is certainly one word to use to describe Max, he knew what he wanted and was driven to achieve it. Through my own experience of working with Max and knowing him on a personal level, it always impressed me that he would respond to emails, phone calls and messages at any hour of the day, or night. He showed commitment, dedication, and drive.

Max sadly died on Sunday evening with his family at his bedside following an accident while in London. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this time.

One of the last ‘Genuine Characters’ of the asbestos world, Max will be greatly missed, but his time with us, never forgotten.

The family’s wishes and arrangements shall be made know as they become available.

Rest in Peace Max

English councils pay £10m in school asbestos compensation claims

Keeley Downey editor of IOSH Magazine has reported that,

Local authorities (LAs) in England have paid out £10m in compensation to people who have contracted asbestos-related illnesses at school.

An investigation by the BBC has found that in the past ten years 32 councils in England have settled claims from 220 retired teachers, school staff and ex-pupils.

According to figures released following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) are present in at least 12,600 council-run schools. This number does not include more than 5000 academy schools, so the total is likely to be higher.

The BBC also found inconsistencies in how councils monitor the presence of ACMs; of the 135 LAs that responded to the FOI request, 13 revealed they had no data on which of the local schools contained asbestos.

East Sussex County Council paid out almost £1.3m in asbestos claims between 2006 and 2016, followed by Kent (£842,958), Devon (£791,046), and Suffolk (£635,791). Bradford, Durham and Gloucestershire were also in the top ten.

The BBC said it is likely the compensation claims exceeded £10m because ten councils did not disclose information about how many asbestos cases they had settled.

Between 2011 and 2016, LAs reported 99 incidents of asbestos exposure in school premises.

“The figures reveal great variation in the management of asbestos, with some LAs claiming not to know how many of their schools contain asbestos, some withholding the information and others stating that full responsibility lies with school themselves,” said the National Union of Teachers.

“[They] paint a disturbing picture of complacency, evasion of responsibility and lack of knowledge.”

John McClean, chair of the Joint Union Asbestos Committee and secretariat of the Asbestos in Schools group, said: “What this information reveals is that the government’s policy of managing asbestos in schools is simply not working and is putting children and staff at risk.

“We call upon the government to undertake a national audit of asbestos in schools, set out a long-term strategy for the removal of asbestos from schools, and ensure that the Health and Safety Executive has the funding it needs to inspect schools.”

Need to book an Asbestos Survey or Legionella Risk Assessment?

Call us now on 0808 1080 766, complete our simple call back form or

Click here to email and one of our team will contact you to discuss your requirement and provide a quote

Based near Stafford in Staffordshire we are ideally placed to carry out an Asbestos Survey or Legionella Risk Assessment in Stoke on Trent, Birmingham, West Midlands, Cheshire, Manchester East Midlands and North West