Workers exposed to asbestos during refurbishment

Do you ever stop to think about whether you could be exposed to asbestos in your home?

Do you ever stop to think about whether you could be exposed to asbestos in your home?

During the 20th century asbestos was used heavily by the UK’s construction industry and even though its use has been banned for more than two decades its legacy lives on in our homes, garages, workplaces and public buildings.

If you own a property that was built before 2000 there is every chance it may contain asbestos somewhere in its walls, floors or ceilings.

If you are in any doubt you should have an asbestos survey so you can identify if you have asbestos, what type it is, where it is and what condition it is in.

This is the first step to managing your asbestos safely and ensuring that neither you nor your family, visitors or any workers at your property are exposed to asbestos.

If at any point you are carrying out work at your property you will be in a position to inform your tradespeople about where your asbestos is located so the necessary arrangements can be made to ensure it is dealt with by people who have the correct asbestos training.

Sadly, a recent case has shown the necessary steps are not always taken to prevent people from being exposed to asbestos.

Builders exposed to asbestos

A few weeks ago, Kieran Lynch was prosecuted at Reading Magistrates’ Court after his employees were exposed to asbestos while refurbishing domestic premises in Barnsdale Road, Reading.

The court heard Mr Lynch, trading as Lynch and Co, was contracted to carry out a largescale refurbishment for his client who had recently purchased the property from their local council.

Prior to the project commencing, the owner of the property informed Mr Lynch the ceiling boards in the garage contained asbestos.

Mr Lynch instructed two employees, who had no experience in asbestos removal, to take down the boards with no protective measures in place.

Once they had taken down the boards, they stored them inside the house for a further three months before they were moved into the front garden to be disposed of.

Subsequent examination of these boards identified them as Asbestos Insulating Board (AIB) – a high risk product which requires an asbestos removal licence to remove.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Mr Lynch was made aware that asbestos was present in the property, and yet he failed to make adequate enquiries as to where the asbestos was, its type and the condition it was in, prior to carrying out the removal.  He also instructed his employees, who lacked the necessary competence, to carry out the removal with no control measures in place.

Kieran Lynch, of 9 Old Barn Close, Emmer Green, Reading, pleaded guilty to breaching the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 Regulations 5 (1)(a), 8(1), 11 (1) and received a Community Order for a period of 12 months with a Rehabilitation Requirement of 25 days and Unpaid Work of 100 hours.

Mr Lynch was also ordered to pay £5,000 in costs and a £95 victim surcharge.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector David Tonge said: “Refurbishment work, even in domestic premises, is liable to expose people to asbestos and adequate steps must be taken to find out if asbestos is present.  If so, appropriate measures must be taken to ensure people are not exposed to asbestos fibres.”

Why are concerns raised when people are exposed to asbestos?

The reason why people are prosecuted if their actions – or inaction – has led to someone being exposed to asbestos is that asbestos is a dangerous substance which puts lives at risk.

If asbestos is disturbed it can release tiny fibres into the air and when they are inhaled they can cause a range of serious – and even fatal – conditions.

Mesothelioma claims the lives of thousands of people in the UK every year and asbestos is also responsible for a number of other serious diseases including asbestosis, pleural plaques and asbestos-related lung cancer.

Being exposed to asbestos can have a devastating impact on people’s lives and if organisations are found to be in breach of the law they can face crippling fines.

Company bosses and managers who are found to be at fault can also be prosecuted and may be fined or even face custodial sentences.

Asbestos should always be treated with extreme caution and should be handled by experts.

If you need asbestos to be removed, contact our expert team about our Asbestos Removal Management service.

We don’t undertake asbestos removals inhouse which allows us to give you independent and impartial assistance for any asbestos works required.

We provide an asbestos expert to be your point of contact to guide you through your asbestos removal project. We’ll prepare a suitable specification for the works prior to tendering the works to approved contractors.

As an independent asbestos consultancy, we have access to the entire asbestos contractors’ market. Allowing us to get our clients the most competitive removal cost possible.

If you are unsure what to do next, please don’t take a risk with asbestos – contact us today so we can make sure you get the help you need.

Acorn is a professional asbestos consultancy helping organisations 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.

Need Help? Request a Call Back

Request a call back from one of our expert Asbestos Consultants who will help you identify what you need

More Asbestos Articles

Acorn Analytical Services Asbestos Solutions commecial photography 6

Asbestos training – 3 reasons why you need it!

Asbestos training is more than just a formality in the UK. Dive into its life-saving significance, understand the legal requirements, and see why it’s a small investment with immense returns.

mesothelioma image

Mesothelioma Researchers call for help!

Researchers call for help from mesothelioma patients and their families! The Priority Setting Partnership, funded by the National Institute for Health Research, is bringing together people with mesothelioma, their families, carers and the healthcare professionals who treat them to help set priorities for mesothelioma research. A survey has been launched aimed at better understanding the … Read more

logo2

Acorn Analytical Services: Your UKATA Approved Asbestos Awareness Training Provider

Acorn Analytical Services are now UKATA approved! Are you thinking of updating your asbestos awareness training in the New Year? If so we would recommend the course provider you choose is approved by UKATA. Using a UKATA member to provide that training ensures that they have the facilities, knowledge and experience to properly undertake that training. Our … Read more

Leicester Hospital Leads Mesothelioma Treatment Trials

Two new treatments are being tested in the East Midlands for an aggressive cancer caused mainly by exposure to asbestos. The research into mesothelioma is being done at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital. Mesothelioma most commonly starts in the inner lining of the chest wall causing it to thicken and reduce lung capacity, which in turn puts … Read more

Quote 1

Acorn join the Federation of Small Businesses

Acorn Analytical Services are pleased to announce that we have successfully joined the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). What is the FSB? The FSB is non-profit making and non-party political. The Federation of Small Businesses is the UK’s largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of the self-employed and owners of small firms. Formed … Read more

938308 4da8f9a0 596x300 1

Carlisle Housing Association Admits Asbestos Failings

A housing association in Carlisle has admitted serious failings with regards to asbestos. Riverside Housing has advised they have no idea how many of their properties contain asbestos. Best estimates are around 3,000 which is half of it 6,000 property portfolio. Asbestos was extensively used within the construction industry throughout the UK from the 1930s … Read more

asbestos through a scope

New Asbestos ACOP for Working With Asbestos

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has released a consultation document proposing the new Approved Code of Practice (ACOP)  for working with asbestos. It has invited comments and responses (to be received no later than 30 September 2013) as part of a consultative exercise into a proposed consolidated version of its Approved Code of Practice … Read more

cwmcarn

Asbestos removal worker dies in Cwmcarn school

Health and Safety Executive leading investigation after 26-year-old asbestos removal worker dies in Cwmcarn school. A police and health and safety investigation has been launched following the death of an asbestos removal worker at an asbestos-hit school. Paramedics were called to Cwmcarn High, near Newport, on Friday after a 26 year old collapsed. The school … Read more

UKAS Asbestos Surveys

Unlock the Power of UKAS Asbestos Surveys: Your Ultimate Guide

UKAS asbestos surveys are your ultimate tool for a safer environment. This guide explores their importance, the dangers of asbestos, and how to choose the right surveyor. Don’t gamble with your health – commission a UKAS asbestos survey today.

DSCF0017

Unmasking the Silent Killer: Why Children are at Greater Risk from Exposure to Asbestos

Are our children in danger? You might be surprised to learn that a silent killer, asbestos, is lurking in the very place we consider safe – our schools. While asbestos exposure is dangerous for everyone, a shocking reality is that children are at greater risk from exposure to asbestos. Asbestos in UK Schools: A Threat … Read more