Two firms could face Asbestos disease claims

Firms to face industrial disease claims 2721

Asbestos disease claims could be made against two companies after it emerged that employees had been exposed to Asbestos at work.

Hazelwise and RH Property Management have both been found to have put members of staff at risk of contracting conditions such as Asbestosis and Mesothelioma during a project at Brownlow Mill, Bolton, in October 2010.

Both firms were subjected to legal action from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) after it found a large number of damaged Asbestos boards stacked up during a visit there.

The HSE decided to analyse the place of work, which is home to several small business rental units, after a contractor on the site raised the alarm about the fact the Asbestos boards had been removed at the mill.

The contractor was concerned that this task may have resulted in deadly Asbestos fibres being released into the air and the health and safety watchdog established that neither Hazelwise or RH Property Management had proper plans in place to manage the potentially-lethal substance properly.

Inspectors from the HSE subsequently issued Prohibition Notices to prevent tools and equipment being removed from other floors of the mill due to the danger of them being contaminated with Asbestos.

All other levels of the premises were also closed off in order to stop more people potentially coming into contact with the material and, during a case heard at Manchester Crown Court, both firms involved admitted breaking the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Hazelwise also pleaded guilty to breaching the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, meaning employees from the site could now be eligible to claim Asbestos compensation.

Philip Strickland, HSE inspector, commented: "It is a legal requirement for owners and letting agents of commercial properties to carry out an assessment as to whether asbestos is present in a building and what action is needed to keep it safe."

Posted by Emily SwansonADNFCR-1500-ID-801438239-ADNFCR

29/08/2012 16:15