The Risks of Asbestos Exposue: How Safe Are We in Our Own Homes?
Asbestos is normally considered to be an industrial problem but is that really the case?
The dangers associated with asbestos are all around us – even in our own homes, as this extract from an HSE bulletin discusses:
“Tenants of a house in Lincolnshire, including a three-year-old girl, were exposed to dangerous levels of deadly asbestos dust, a court was told.
A judge at Lincoln Crown Court fined Blankney Estates Ltd, the company that rented out the property in Scopwick, after it pleaded guilty to health and safety offences. The court heard it did not manage adequately what were clearly deteriorating asbestos materials, and did not ensure that work within the property to remove an asbestos-lagged tank was properly planned and carried out safely by competent contractors.
The same court also fined plumbing company Michael Grace Ltd, and Adam and John Thurlby, directors of a family-owned demolition company, ART Dismantling Co Ltd. These defendants were prosecuted by HSE for breaching the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) 2006 when they worked on removing the tank from the house.
Farming Company Blankney Estates Ltd, of Leicester, but with its main operations in Lincolnshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £20,000 in costs. HSE said it failed in its Section 3 duty to take reasonable steps to ensure the premises were safe, and to ensure that the work to remove the tank was done safely.
Adam Robert Thurlby, of Newark, Nottinghamshire, and John Thurlby, of Lincoln, also pleaded guilty. They were each fined £12,500 and were each ordered to pay £7,500 costs for contravening five CAR Regulations while acting as directors of ART Dismantling.
Michael Grace Ltd, registered address of St John Street, London, but trading locally in Lincolnshire, pleaded guilty to three CAR offences and was fined £10,000 plus £5,000 in costs.
Asbestos can be found in any building built before the year 2000 and causes around 5,000 deaths every year. HSE’s website has extensive information on asbestos and how to manage the risks associated with it http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/"
Whilst the family concerned may not yet have developed an asbestos-related condition it is far from certain that they will not. Ordinarily asbestos-related symptoms will not become apparent until 20 to 30 years after exposure takes place, meaning that the family may be at risk of developing some form of asbestos-related illness in the far distant future, and in the case of the three- year-old girl, that spectre may remain with her for the rest of her life.
If you or any of your friends or family have had contact with asbestos dust and fibres in the past – quite possibly whilst living in rented accommodation or as the result of the improper removal of asbestos from your property – and believe you may have developed any form of asbestos-related illness, it is essential that you seek advice without delay.
You should contact one of our specialist asbestos compensation lawyers who will be happy to assist you and establish whether you have a claim to make and to ensure your recover the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to for the condition that you have developed.
If you want to enquire about making an asbestos compensation claim, please contact our asbestos claims solicitors on 0333 123 9099. Alternatively, you can send an email with your name and contact information and brief details as to the nature of your condition to firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our online enquiry form.