An independent school in Dorset has come under scrutiny following asbestos exposure to several people after the inadequate and unsafe removal of asbestos insulation boards in 2009.
Sherborne School, and the director of a company responsible for the refurbishment project, Peter Eldridge, have been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for failing to identify and prevent asbestos exposure in the school over the period May 2008 until July 2009, as refurbishment work took place after an initial design stage.
They have been fined £60,000 and £10,000 respectively for the asbestos exposure risk at the school.
Not only were building contractors exposed to asbestos, a teenage work experience student also came into contact with potentially harmful asbestos fibres as insulation boards were removed from the site in an unsafe manner.
Poor Planning Management led to Asbestos Exposure in School
A full asbestos survey was never conducted, despite an initial sample in 2008 identifying the presence of asbestos within the building.
Mr Eldridge, or the school, should have appointed a Construction Design and Management (CDM) Coordinator as a requirement of the 2007 regulations that are required for a project of this size. A CDM Coordinator would have appointed a proper, licensed asbestos contractor to work on the removal of asbestos once the project began.
Joanna Teasdale, of the HSE, stated after the prosecution:
“Both Peter Eldridge and Sherborne School knew about the risks posed by the presence of asbestos in the school buildings, and yet they failed to manage the risk of exposure to asbestos fibres during the refurbishment project.
“This incident and the risk to those involved could have been easily avoided if competent people had been engaged during the planning of the refurbishment project to advise the school, such as a CDM coordinator.”
Asbestos Exposure – Speak to Solicitors about a Potential Claim
Asbestos exposure can lead to illness and fatality, with symptoms of asbestosis, mesothelioma and other asbestos related illnesses, sometimes taking years to develop.
If you have been exposed to asbestos after the poor management and prevention of an employer, you could be entitled to seek compensation. Call Duncan Gibbins today on to speak to a member of our team about making a potential claim for asbestos exposure compensation, whether it is for you, or a loved one who has suffered needlessly.
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