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January 19, 2018

Compensation claims for asbestos in Lancashire hit £687k

Lancashire County Council has paid out almost £700,000 to people with conditions linked to asbestos in the past four years.

County Hall shelled out £672,094 in compensation and costs to victims in the past five years – and the authority has six ongoing claims. besides

Preston City Council also paid out £14,246.59, statistics revealed to the Evening Post.

Figures obtained under Freedom of Information requests reveal 17 people have contacted Lancashire County Council regarding asbestos claims since 2010.

Of those there were three pay outs, five cases where there was no payout and six ongoing claims – with one of those receiving a £50,000 interim damages payment.

The compensation claims came from victims who breathed in asbestos fibres.

It can cause mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer, which attacks the lining of organs and is fatal.

All but one of the claimants were employed by the county council and all the claims related to time frames from the 1950s and onwards.

Twelve of the cases related to mesothelioma, one to asbestos -related cancer, one to asbestosis and one is listed as industrial disease.

Their jobs at the council included roadsman, plasterer, cook, heating engineer, a factory worker and teachers.

Meanwhile of the two cases Preston Council dealt with they only paid out compensation in one of them.

The authority was unable to provide information on where in the council the two claimants had worked.

The claimants had mesothelioma and asbestosis.

Campaigners believe payments are likely to soar over the coming decade as more people fall ill and die after being exposed to the material, often decades ago.

Geraldine Coombs, a partner and expert asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Asbestos exposure is often regarded as something that only impacts those working within heavy industry, but the presence of the material in so many public buildings such as schools and hospitals, means that more and more people who are not working in traditional construction trades are being affected through no fault of their own.

“We have repeatedly called for a dedicated programme to identify any public buildings around the UK that contain asbestos and continue to pose a danger to those working in them, as well as calling for a schedule to systematically remove asbestos from these premises on a priority basis depending on the state of disrepair in each situation.

Given the vulnerability of children to the potential dangers of asbestos – we would suggest schools are given the highest priority in any action that may be taken.”

Bev Cullen, assistant county solicitor for Lancashire County Council, said: “Each claim is considered on its own facts and will be investigated in accordance with the county council’s insurance arrangements.

“Claims payments are made either from the council’s own reserves set aside for this purpose, our insurers, or a combination of the two. It depends on the date of the exposure, and the insurance arrangements that the county council had in place at the time.

“Claims will be investigated when they’re received. Generally the exposure date goes back many decades, so it is difficult to assess future numbers.”

No-one from Preston Council was available for comment. South Ribble, Chorley, West Lancashire, Fylde and Lancaster councils said they had received no claims for compensation.

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Compensation claims for asbestos in Lancashire hit £687k

Keeping Safe and Up to Date with Boss UKATA Asbestos Category B Training

Asbestos Removal

although awareness training is a legal requirement, it doesn’t allow operatives to remove asbestos. Specialist contractors need to be brought in to do this. Non-licensed asbestos removal can be undertaken following UKATA category b training

(PRWEB UK) 4 October 2013

Everyone is aware of the dangers of asbestos and as a result very little is used these days for everyday purposes but every now and again staff can come up against it in their work and they must know how to deal with it safely. The new course offered by Boss Training covers all aspects on non-licensed asbestos work, as outlined by the Health and Safety Executive’s guide on the subject. The course only takes one day and is time well spent.

Risk assessment

To be able to be undertaken by a non-licensed operative, the asbestos must conform to certain conditions set down in the guidelines and being able to assess whether these terms are met is an important part of dealing with the substance. The Boss course covers the rules comprehensively but does not rely merely on theoretical training; there is a helpful practical element also, to make sure that all attendees know exactly what it is they are looking for.

Who might need the training?

The United Kingdom Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) has designed the course content to suit employees who may be asked to undertake unlicensed asbestos removal activities. This would typically be someone who works for short periods and not in any regular way with non-friable materials which, when worked on, release only a small amount of fibres. This type of work could include drilling into textured coatings, removing insulating board and lifting floor tiles but there are other jobs which might occasionally bring someone into contact with asbestos. As it is far better to be safe than sorry, anyone who might find themselves in this position should get the relevant training.

What does the HSE say about asbestos?

The Health and Safety Executive allows non-licensed work with asbestos as long as the concentration in the air is less than 0.6 asbestos fibres/cm3 over 10 minutes and that the person’s exposure will be less than 0.1 fibres per cm3. Needless to say, understanding the measurement of fibres needs to be explained to most people and this is where the course comes in. Apart from these criteria, the job must be short and non-continuous with none-friable materials and that the asbestos material is in good condition or coated to prevent high fibre counts. There is also a necessity to monitor the air for confirmation that the concentration is acceptable.

Safety and peace of mind

The Boss Training course is delivered every month in Leeds but any company with more than eight staff to train can arrange on-site training. This is a good way to make sure that the training is absolutely geared to what employees might meet in their day to day work; Boss are always happy to discuss any queries any employer might have regarding asbestos safety and what training would be most suitable.

What is covered?

Boss UKATA Asbestos Category B Training Course covers absolutely everything that a member of staff would need to know about dealing with the risks of asbestos removal but also covers, more importantly, how to identify a risk when it occurs. It covers the essential record keeping necessary with regard to air monitoring as well as how to actually carry out the monitoring itself. It covers – with theoretical and practical modules – the safe removal of asbestos, including dust suppression techniques, decontamination, handling waste and perhaps most importantly, emergency methods. At the end of the course there is an assessment and all successful attendees will receive UKATA registered Non Licensed Asbestos Removal Training Certificate and photo I.D. card which many people find useful when tendering for work. It is also a useful reminder for when refresher courses might be due, so everyone’s knowledge is kept up to date.


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Keeping Safe and Up to Date with Boss UKATA Asbestos Category B Training

Building firm boss from Old Weston fined over asbestos

A soffit containing asbestosA soffit containing asbestos

EXPOSING workers to potentially lethal asbestos has cost a building firm boss more than £10,000 in fines and costs.

Michael Southern allowed workers to carry on removing soffit boards on a house which was being refurbished, despite being warned that they contained asbestos, a court has been told.

Southern, 48, of Brington Road, Old Weston, near Huntingdon, had not carried out a suitable survey to determine whether asbestos was present, magistrates in Bedford heard.

He admitted four offences of breaching the Control of Asbestos Regulations on August 30 last year and was fined £7,015 and ordered to pay £3,200 costs.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), told the court that Southern, owner of Bedford-based PMF Cladding, exposed an employee and a casual labourer to potentially fatal airborne asbestos fibres while they were removing and replacing soffits on a house at Sharnbrook.

He had not carried out a suitable survey in advance to see if asbestos – which causes around 4,500 deaths a year – was in the building and did not hold a licence to work with the dangerous material.

The HSE said that a neighbour told Southern that the soffits were made of asbestos insulating board but this did not stop him from carrying on with the work.

A complaint was made to the HSE and work was halted immediately after an inspector visited the site.

The HSE investigation found that Southern was aware from other jobs that soffits may contain asbestos, but had not taken this into account when assessing the job. He had also failed to provide information and training to workers who could be exposed to fibres.

After the hearing Gavin Bull, from the HSE, said: “Mr Southern, as a person running a cladding installation business, should have been in no doubt about the dangers posed by asbestos and of the regulations governing work with this material.

“Despite this, he progressed this work without testing the material to be removed for the presence of asbestos.

“This resulted in those working there being exposed to risk of inhaling airborne asbestos fibres without taking any suitable precautions.”

Mr Bull said: “This incident was entirely preventable and highlights the importance of having a robust asbestos management system in place.”

He said the type, location and condition of all asbestos-containing materials should be established and precautions put in place before work starts.

Mr Bull said higher-risk notifiable work should only be carried out by a licensed contractor.

Asbestos is is the single biggest cause or work-related deaths in the UK, with the material still found in many buildings.

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Building firm boss from Old Weston fined over asbestos