One Welsh demolition contractor has recently been ordered to pay a hefty fine for exposing its workers to asbestos, a deadly airborne fibre that can result in costly personal injury compensation claims.
According to accident claim experts familiar with the case, Walsh Plant Hire and Demolition Contractors Ltd, located in Pontyprydd, South Wales, was brought before Bridgend Magistrates’ Court by the Health and Safety Executive for repeatedly disregarding warnings to make sure that asbestos was removed safely from a Maesteg demolition site. Originally served in February of 2010 with a Prohibition Notice to cease work at the demolition site when the HSE discovered that removing asbestos sheeting had a high likelihood of posing a potential health hazard, the firm submitted a removal plan for the dangerous building material but was then found to have not complied with the plan at a subsequent inspection.
The plan detailed that the asbestos sheeting would be removed safely by damping it down in order to prevent the asbestos fibres, which are known to be a direct cause of the lung cancer known as mesothelioma, from becoming airborne. However, an HSE inspection that took place in May of 2010 found that the demolition site was not only completely dry but had not been damped down for at least a week.
The demolition firm, located in Old Parish Road in Ynysybwl, entered a plea of guilty in regards to breaching the Control of Abestos Regulations during the hearing. As a result, the company was told to pay £5,000 in fees with an additional cost of £6,828 to be paid in court fees.
Asbestos linked ailments are responsible for 4,000 fatalities in the UK every year, with many suffering from one of these illnesses or their surviving family members going on to make successful personal injury claims against employers.