Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Asbestos exposure results in Prosecution for Shrewsbury Firm
Posted by David Cant on June 9, 2011

An asbestos survey provided by health and safety consultants can mean the difference between life and death for your employees.  As an employer it is your legal duty to ensure that you manage the risks of being exposed to asbestos.  Failing to do so can lead to your firm being prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive.

This was what happened to John Todd Ltd after two of their employees were exposed to materials which contained asbestos at a site they were working at in Oswestry.  The refurbishment company had been hired to handle the refurbishing of a building at Mile Oak Industrial Estate.

Licensed Asbestos Removers Arrived to Find Work Had Commenced

It was discovered that during the early stages of the refurbishment, John Todd the company director, and two other self-employed workers had begun removing the dangerous materials.  It wasn’t until the licensed asbestos removers arrived on October 18 2010 that the alarm was raised.  The Health and Safety Executive arrived on site and ceased work from continuing to limit the risks to the workers who were on site.

During the court case held at Shrewsbury Magistrates Court details of the removal were made clear.  During the work there no safety precautions had been put in place to stop the fibres from spreading.  The two employees and Mr Todd had been taking off the insulation boards and removing the floor tiles which both contained asbestos.  The court were also informed how the waste material was not properly disposed of, the workers had merely thrown the asbestos into a skip which was not covered.

Disregard for Employees Welfare

The company knew full well that asbestos was present, and the lack of health and safety precautions showed the firm had disregarded the health and safety of their employees. Asbestos surveys are just one of the health and safety services offered by Veritas Consultants. These surveys can detect the presence of asbestos and the report can be used to create plans of action which can manage the risks that are present when dealing with the dangerous materials.

John Todd Ltd was fined £10,000 for breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.  This section states that it is the duty of employers to ensure that their workers are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. In addition to the fine, the court ordered the firm to pay £10,000 in costs.

Asbestos is the Biggest Cause of Work Related Deaths in the United Kingdom

It is estimated that asbestos causes around 4,000 deaths in the UK every year.  Health and safety consultants are able to provide your company with a full asbestos survey within seven days. Veritas health and safety services provide three asbestos surveys which can save the employees in your work place from being affected by the dangerous asbestos fibres.

To find out more about the asbestos survey, or any of the health and safety services provided by Veritas Consultants contact the team on 0800 1488 677 today.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

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