A Scottish health board has been fined for asbestos failings that put several workers in danger during a seven-year period.
Greater Glasgow Health Board, known as NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, admitted failing to properly manage the risks of potentially deadly fibres in a ground floor neurology plant and switch room of Southern General Hospital.
Glasgow Sheriff Court heard how the health board took no action to remove asbestos containing materials (ACMs) in the ceiling of the room, despite three warnings between 2004 and 2011 that is was “high risk” and required “removal and environmental cleaning”.
As a result, employees on site and outside contractors had been exposed to the harmful asbestos fibres.
Greater Glasgow Health Board, of JB Russell House, Gartnavel Royal Hospital, Great Western Road, Glasgow, was fined £10,000 after pleading guilty to a breach of Regulation 4(10)(b) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the Greater Glasgow Health Board had taken no action in relation to the ACMs in the ceiling since the original 2004 survey, nor had it acted following the later surveys.
The area had then become extensively contaminated with unsealed asbestos debris as a result of the health board’s failure to remove the ACMs and environmentally clean the area, while monitoring of the ACM in the room was labelled as insufficient.
Had monitoring been carried out more regularly, it would have been clear that the ACM was still present and still posing a high risk to anyone entering.
Asbestos exposure in the workplace can be extremely dangerous, causing a number of illnesses and diseases.
If you have had any exposure to asbestos in the past, you really need to visit your doctor as soon as possible for a check-up.
Only when the results come through will you then know whether or not you can claim for compensation, something with which the Accident Advice Helpline can offer assistance.
To discuss your claim with a member of their expert team dial 0800 689 0500 now.
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Date Published: December 24, 2013
Author: David Brown