Businesses warned about importance of asbestos management

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Businesses have been warned to ensure they follow proper asbestos management procedures, after a Lincolnshire hotel was fined £39,000 for exposing some of its employees to the dangerous substance.

UK Holiday Group Ltd, the owner of The County Hotel in Skegness, pleaded guilty to three breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, following an investigation by officials from East Lindsey District Council.

The probe was launched after a member of staff raised concerns about asbestos at the premises and although the hotel owner subsequently had extensive asbestos removal work carried out, health and safety officers decided to press ahead with the prosecution.

The fact staff were exposed to asbestos and that the asbestos was contained in materials considered to be particularly high risk, lagging on boiler tanks and pipework, made court action inevitable, despite the remedial work.

At a hearing at Skegness Magistrates on October 17th 2013, the hotel’s owner was fined a total of £39,000 and ordered to pay £5,392 in costs.

The Council’s health and safety inspector Rod MacKenzie said: “The simple fact in this case is that because of the hotel’s failure, workers have been put at risk, and face an uncertain future.”

He added: “Asbestos-related disease kills far more people in the UK than are killed on our roads. All businesses have an obligation to know whether their premises contain asbestos and to take appropriate steps to remove or contain any that is identified.”

Find out more about your responsibilities in relation to asbestos, or click here to learn about the safe removal of asbestos.

Published: 24th October 2013