Tragic case reveals another dangerous aspect of asbestos

Commercial Photography from Pete Barnes

This month the dangers of asbestos hit the headlines once more but maybe not for the reason you might expect.

Anyone who regularly follows our blogs or listens to our podcasts will know how hard we work to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos-related diseases.

Sadly, a case which came to court recently showed another dangerous side to asbestos.

Liverpool Crown Court recently heard that a roofer was fatally injured when he fell six metres whilst working on a replacement roof at a property in Kirkdale, Liverpool.

The roofer was completing snagging work on a replacement roof on 22 May 2017 when he accessed a part of the old roof made of fragile asbestos cement sheets, which gave way. He fell through the sheets to the ground below sustaining fatal injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the area accessed did not have safety nets fitted and the building occupier failed to take reasonably practicable measures to reduce the risk to those working on the roof.

Owners of the building Pearsons Glass, of Maddrell Street, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, sections 3. The company was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,656.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew McGrory said: “The risks from working on fragile surfaces are well known.

“Businesses have a responsibility to ensure that the contractor they select to undertake any construction work devise safe methods of doing so, which should include providing the necessary information to their workers and ensuring that they are adequately supervised.”

At the time of the case, the prosecution of the roofing contractor was ongoing.

This case shows the potential fragility of asbestos and highlights the physical dangers it can pose to workers aside from the health conditions that exposure to the substance can cause.

It may well be that this case has left you worrying about whether or not your property contains asbestos.

We understand that it can be difficult for individuals and organisations to identify whether they have asbestos in their properties. In short, if your property is over 20 years old it could contain asbestos and the easiest way to find out whether your building has it or not is to have a survey done.

There are three different types of asbestos survey – Asbestos Management Surveys, Asbestos Refurbishment Surveys and Asbestos Demolition Surveys.

Our highly qualified and professional team is accredited to perform each of these asbestos surveys. Our team is experienced in surveying a range of different types of premises including shops, warehouses, offices, hospitals and schools.

We are an independent and impartial UKAS accredited asbestos surveying company and have no links or affiliations to asbestos removal contractors. This puts us in a unique position to only ever provide you with ‘best practice’ advice that’s right for you.

Therefore, you can be confident that the advice and recommendations you’ll receive from us in your asbestos survey report will always be in your best interest and never be influenced by third parties.

When you approach us to arrange a survey, we will quote you within one working day and the quote you receive will be the price you are charged – no matter how many samples we collect.

We guarantee that you will have your report within five working days of the survey being done but there are faster times available – including same day. All our asbestos surveys also come with free access to your own live, secure and encrypted, asbestos portal. This means you have access to your asbestos data and reports whenever you want – you’re in control.

All our surveys are completed using the latest data collection software to ensure all your asbestos information is recorded accurately and securely and we will also provide you with free asbestos remediation consultation and advice.

We’re a professional asbestos consultancy helping businesses deal with asbestos compliance using asbestos surveysasbestos air testing, and asbestos removal management. Please call one of the team, or use the online form to obtain your free quotation. If you would like further information or advice on asbestos and asbestos training, contact the team on 0844 818 0895 or Contact Us

Ian Stone

I am based out of our Northampton office but regularly travel to meet with new and existing clients. I have assisted thousands of clients over the years on varying-sized projects, several have been schemes totalling over one million pounds spent purely on asbestos. Together with Neil Munro, I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I am Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

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