Liverpool hospital fined after ignoring asbestos survey advice
A Liverpool NHS trust has been fined £10,000 after failing to deal with the risks identified in an asbestos survey.
The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court, after asbestos fibres were discovered in the basement of its Derwent House offices.
The fibres were found in January 2013 and a subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that a survey conducted in 2006 had recommended that the condition of the asbestos in the basement should be properly assessed, but that the advice had been ignored.
An inspection of the site found that the doors to an out-of-service goods lift in the basement were damaged and that they contained asbestos. Fibres were then discovered in several areas of the basement, which meant staff who needed to access patient records stored there were at risk of being exposed to asbestos.
HSE Inspector Imran Siddiqui said organisations have a responsibility to take asbestos risks seriously, as breathing in fibres is the largest cause of work-related deaths in the UK.
“The Trust, in line with the 2006 survey, should have assumed asbestos was present in an area of the basement and taken appropriate action to make it safe for people working there,” he said.
“Instead, workers were allowed to regularly visit the basement to access patient files increasing the risk of exposure to the potentially deadly fibres.”
For information about how to deal with the risks identified in an asbestos survey, get in touch with licensed asbestos contractor BLS Asbestos.