Terminally ill local man to sue former employer over asbestos exposure claim

A dying Tayside man is suing his former employer after claiming he was exposed to asbestos at work and became terminally ill as a result.

Alexander Darling, of Muirend Road, Perth, has raised the action against A&J Stephen Ltd of the Fair City’s Edinburgh Road.

Mr Darling, 69, a former joiner who worked for the construction firm in the 1960s and 1970s, has claimed he was exposed to asbestos due to the nature of his work and the lack of adequate health and safety measures to protect employees.

Mr Darling has mesothelioma, a fatal, asbestos-related type of cancer.

The action has been raised against his former employer and their insurers.

The first calling of the case was heard at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

A spokesman for Digby Brown Solicitors in Edinburgh, who are representing Mr Darling, said: “A key point in cases of this nature is that we will make the legal argument that the employers were aware of the dangers of asbestos to individuals’ health by this time, but were not properly protecting them from these dangers.

“The next stage in the case will likely call later this year, around the start of November, though it is always possible that cases of this nature will settle out of court, If you would

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops in the lining that covers the outer surface of some of the body’s organs and kills about 2,500 people each year in the United Kingdom.

It mainly affects the lining of the lungs, although it can also affect the lining of the stomach, heart or testicles.

More than 2,600 people are diagnosed with the condition each year in the UK.

Of those, about 50% will live at least a year after diagnosis, and about one in every 10 with will live at least five years after diagnosis.

A&J Stephen Ltd has been approached for comment but had not responded at the time of going to press.

Source: Evening Telegraph

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Three companies working on the refurbishment of a school in Waltham Forest have been fined a total of £1.27m excluding costs after workers were exposed to asbestos.

The exposure occurred in July 2012 after a worker removed part of a suspended ceiling in one of the ground floor refurbished rooms at St Mary’s school and identified suspect asbestos-containing materials. Asbestos fibres were subsequently found in numerous areas in the school.

The court heard that the London Borough of Waltham Forest had a contract with NPS London Limited to manage development and refurbishment of its estate. At the time of the incident the principal contractor for the work was Mansell Construction Services (now integrated into Balfour Beatty) and the subcontractor was Squibb Group Limited.

A Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that although an asbestos survey was completed, there were multiple caveats and disclaimers that were not appropriately checked.

Balfour Beatty Regional Construction Limited (previously Mansell Construction Services Limited) of Canary Wharf, London, was fined £500,000 and ordered to pay costs of £32,364.84 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.

NPS London Limited, of Business Park Norwich, Norfolk, was fined £370,000 and ordered to pay £32,364.84 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.

Squibb Group Limited, of Stanford Le Hope, Essex, was fined £400,000 and ordered to pay costs of £175,000 after being found guilty after a trial of a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.

HSE inspector Sarah Robinson said: “The principal contractor and contractors on site did not review the survey report in detail, and did not take into consideration the multitude of caveats. Therefore the work undertaken did not adopt the high standards of control expected for working where there was the potential to expose workers to asbestos.”

Source: theconstructionindex.co.uk

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REVEALED: Shocking investigation finds traces of ASBESTOS in makeup aimed at children and young teenagers

A national girls and tweens clothing store is making quick changes after it was revealed that some of their makeup had asbestos in it.

Just Shine Shimmer Powder sold at Justice Stores was found to contain the toxic substance along with other questionable ingredients by the I-Team at ABC11.

They had several samples of makeup specifically marketed to children and teens tested by the Scientific Analytical Institute in Greensboro, North Carolina, to see what was not listed as an ingredient.

The Director of Research and Analytical Services at the lab, Sean Fitzgerald, said that the particular makeup – which included four heavy metals – was alarming

Finding asbestos in the makeup, Fitzgerald added: ‘When it comes to the powder, I would treat it like a deadly poison, because it is.’

The powder can be deadly for anyone to consume, but especially for children.

‘In this powder designed for children, they could die an untimely death in their thirties or forties because of the exposure to asbestos in this product,’ Fitzgerald said.

The poisonous ingredient was found in talc, a common substance used in makeup.

Fitzgerald said: ‘What we have here is a talc that was contaminated with asbestos that was used to manufacture a product unfortunately aimed at young children

Fitzgerald said: ‘What we have here is a talc that was contaminated with asbestos that was used to manufacture a product unfortunately aimed at young children

‘Talc is a mineral, but it also forms in the earth with other minerals and some of those minerals are asbestos.’

The Food and Drug Administration does consider it unacceptable for cosmetic talc to contain asbestos, conducting a study in 2009 and 2010 where they found none of the substance in 34 makeup samples.

‘The problem is, it’s not necessarily the manufacturer, there was no intent to put this in the talc, but they shouldn’t have been using that reserve, because they should’ve tested it and known that that talc source was contaminated with asbestos,’ Fitzgerald said.

Barium, Chromium, Lead and Selenium were also found in the makeup

Diseases such as cancer can come from inhaling asbestos, with Fitzgerald saying symptoms don’t normally show right away.

‘Children should not be allowed to breathe it. If a 10-year-old inhaled this fiber today, when he’s 50 years old, it’s still there,’ he added.

Barium, Chromium, Lead and Selenium were also found in the makeup.

Fitzgerald said: ‘The more lead you have in your system, the more negative health effects you’re going to have.

‘Any amount of lead can be absorbed through the skin and go into your blood, and contribute to your overall poisoning of your blood.’

Justice was shown the results from the lab.

In a statement they said: ‘Justice is committed to the safety and integrity of our products. Upon receiving the inquiry from WTVD, we immediately began an independent investigation.

‘We cannot speculate regarding the matter until we have more information. Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, we have stopped the sale of this product while we investigate.’

Source: Daily Mail Website

 

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ASBESTOS DEATH MYSTERY Dad who complained of tightness in his chest died from asbestos-related cancer after spending only four months working in factory

A DAD-OF-TWO died at 41 from asbestos-related cancer after spending only four months working in a factory. Matt Wardle had returned from a family holiday to Disneyland when he began to complain of tightness in his chest.

Young widow Pauline Wardle says she is desperate for answers as to how her husband Matt developed the terminal asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma

He developed a cough and was admitted to hospital a couple of months later where he was diagnosed with terminal mesothelioma – an asbestos-related cancer.

Technical author Matt, who had office jobs for most of his life, died just a few weeks after his diagnosis in February 2016 from the cancer which had lined his lungs.

Now his wife Pauline, 39, is desperately trying to find answers their two young children Rosie and Harry, who were aged six and nine at their dad’s death.

He developed a cough and was admitted to hospital a couple of months later where he was diagnosed with terminal mesothelioma – an asbestos-related cancer.

Technical author Matt, who had office jobs for most of his life, died just a few weeks after his diagnosis in February 2016 from the cancer which had lined his lungs.

Now his wife Pauline, 39, is desperately trying to find answers their two young children Rosie and Harry, who were aged six and nine at their dad’s death.

Matt had worked in offices his whole life apart from a stint in a local Co-op supermarket as a student and four months at a metal packaging factory.

He worked in the Carnaud Metal Box factory based at Rock Valley in Mansfield from June to October 1995.

Pauline said: “I want to be able to give Harry and Rosie answers about why their dad died so young.

“It would mean a great deal if anyone who worked at Metal Box in the 1990s and thinks they might be able to help could get in touch with Irwin Mitchell.”

Following exposure to harmful asbestos meaning victims are often much older when they are diagnosed with the disease – something which has left Pauline struggling to comprehend her husband’s death.

Pauline added: “I’m just at a loss as to how Matt would have come into contact with asbestos, but I am desperate to know.

“Until he got ill he was the healthiest person I knew. He rarely had any time off work due to ill health.

“I feel like I am living in a bubble and, although it is almost a year since Matt passed away, I don’t feel I have begun to grieve yet.”

Source: The Sun Website

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Former Bromsgrove Council House could cost £750,000 to demolish because of asbestos

THE COST of demolishing the former Bromsgrove District Council House at Burcot Lane could be as high as £750,000 because of the amount of asbestos that needs removing.

The revelation came during a full council meeting on Wednesday (April 26) when Labour leader Coun Luke Mallett criticised the authority for not disclosing the figure earlier.

But Bromsgrove District Council leader Coun Geoff Denaro said the £750,000 was the ‘worst case scenario’ and the authority would be looking to negate that cost, for example by working with an organisation interested in the land.

Coun Mallett, also standing as a Labour candidate in the forthcoming Worcestershire County Council election, said: “It is deeply troubling a decision was made to move to Parkside, at a huge cost to the taxpayer, based on a total absence of honesty or consideration of the real costs of exiting from the old Council House or indeed the running costs of keeping the building empty.

“The real profit from selling the land and old Council House could be next to nothing as a result of this failure by the Conservative cabinet.”

He called the move to Parkside a ‘vanity white elephant project’, adding hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money was potentially going to be wasted. He claimed by saving the cash from the Parkside move and the amount it could cost to demolish the former Council House, the old building could have been refurbished and a new sports hall provided at the leisure centre.

He concluded by calling for the matter to be referred to the Local Government Ombudsman for an investigation.

Coun Geoff Denaro said the reaction from Coun Mallett was premature as the council had still not decided what it was going to do with the site.

“Our officers are busy working hard, looking at what could be done with Burcot Lane and the best ways to mitigate any incurred expenditure.

“There will be a paper coming out about the Burcot Lane site in the next few weeks and it is then when we will sit down and look at all the options available to us.

“We have said before, rather than sell the land we may want to utilise it so it brings in a steady income over time, which could far outweigh the costs of demolition.”

The council came under fire in February when it was revealed the empty building at Burcot Lane had cost £126,000-a-year while it lay dormant and unoccupied.

Coun Denaro said in response a proportion of that figure was business rates which the authority would get back from central government.

Source: bromsgrovestandard.co.uk – website

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Asbestos found in rubbish piles dumped in Great Bromley sparking warning to fly-tippers

Piles of rubbish that were contaminated with Asbestos was dumped  in  Great Bromley

Tendring District Council teams were called to Park Road and Mary Lane North in Grat Bromley last week to clean up two serious incidents of fly-tipping.

Bosses said the small village, which is near Colchester, has been “blighted” by the crimes.

General waste and a significant amount of asbestos was discovered in the first pile in Park Road last Tuesday.

Specialist teams are to be brought in to tackle it and the council must fork out more than £3,000 to clear it away. No trace of asbestos was found in the second pile.

A hit team worked for most of the day to shovel the rubbish off the road and clear the carriageway.

Although the council workers checked through the two tips, there was no evidence available to suggest where they may have come from.

Chiefs are now urging anyone living in the area who may have seen who dumped the rubbish to come forward with information.

The council’s cabinet member for environment, Michael Talbot, said: “If we can find out who was responsible for these incidents – and prove it – we will not hesitate to prosecute them,” he said.

“If anyone saw anything suspicious or actually saw the waste being dumped, or may know where it has come from, please contact us immediately.”

Fly-tipping is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months in prison if convicted in court.

The offence can attract an unlimited fine and up to five years in prison if convicted in a crown court.

Fixed penalty notices between £150 and £400 can also be imposed.

Vehicles and their contents may also be seized because of suspected involvement in fly tipping.

Source: http://www.eadt.co.uk

Contact Us : mbrown@bradley-enviro.co.uk

 

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Asbestos fly-tipped ‘in every corner’ of county

Potentially lethal asbestos has been found illegally dumped in “every corner” of a rural county, a council has said.

The toxic material has been fly-tipped “from Berwick to Alnwick and Bedlington to Hexham” in the past nine months, Northumberland County Council said.

In that time it has dealt with double the number of cases it handled the previous year.

Cabinet member Ian Swithenbank said it cost the authority more than £10,000.

If homeowners are unable to prove their hazardous waste has been removed by a registered operative they run “the real risk of being prosecuted if any dumped waste is traced back to them”, he said.

It is strong and fire retardant and was extensively used in older commercial buildings, homes and schools

The Asbestos Regulations 1969 imposed strict rules on dust exposure limits in factories and construction

Blue and brown asbestos, thought at the time to be more dangerous, was banned in the UK in 1985. White asbestos was banned in 1999

Exposure can lead to asbestosis, lung cancer, plural plaques and mesothelioma

“Fly-tipping on private land remains a significant problem for farmers and landowners who are left frustrated when they, the victims of this crime, are left to clear up dumped waste and pay for its disposal,” Mr Swithenbank said.

The asbestos found was mostly corrugated sheeting, once commonly used in old colliery houses, farms and commercial properties which have now been modernised, the council said.

There are strict rules concerning its removal and disposal by a licensed operator but “unscrupulous waste contractors” have been dumping it to save costs, the authority added.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk

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Technical Administrator – Birmingham Office

A vacancy has arisen for a Technical Administrator in our Halesowen office and will be primarily spent working alongside the existing Project Managers to co-ordinate and deliver asbestos services within the retail sector.

The role will comprise of:

  • Providing administrative support covering both planned and reactive asbestos works
  • Actively monitoring and updating the client portal for new requests while ensuring they are programmed in appropriately
  • Scheduling of analytical and asbestos surveys; liaising with our regional offices, booking appointments and monitoring report progress to ensure key performance indicators are met

The successful candidate will be required to contribute to effective team working and provide appropriate cover for colleagues as required as well as being capable of working independently when required.

Excellent IT skills including Microsoft Word; Microsoft Excel along with good levels of literacy are required. Previous experience in technical or project administration and/or knowledge of asbestos would be an advantage, although not essential, as full training will be provided.

The hours of work are 40 hours per week, Monday to Friday 0800 – 1630hrs.

The starting at £16,000 per annum (although negotiable if the successful candidate has  previous experience). The company also offers 22 days holiday plus statutory bank holidays. pension and company paid health and well.

To apply email: kracey@bradley-enviro.co.uk with a CV and cover letter.

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London hospital trust paid £1.3m in asbestos compensation

One of London’s largest health trusts has paid out more than £1.3 million in compensation to people who developed illnesses from asbestos while in hospital.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust – which runs two of London’s largest hospitals – has been hit with 20 legal claims since 2001, figures show.

The trust is just one of many London hospitals and health centres which contain the microscopic harmful minerals, commonly used in building materials for years.

Both of its major hospitals and six of its smaller community centres still contain asbestos and £3.9 million has been spent on removing it since 2001. The Standard contacted all London health authorities for figures of the compensation paid out for asbestos-related illnesses.

Of the trusts which replied, St Guy’s and South West London and St George’s NHS trust were the only others to have given payouts. The South West London trust received one legal claim due to illness relating to asbestos, and admitted three of their buildings still have the material.

Liz Darlison, consultant nurse and director of services at charity Mesothelioma UK, said she has “lost count” of the number of doctors and nurses with mesothelioma – a rare cancer which can be caused by asbestos.

She said: “It’s not just doctors and nurses but maintenance people and hospital workers generally.

“But it doesn’t matter what your background is or career pathway, whether you are a doctor, secretary or car mechanic, nobody expects to have a life-limiting disease.”The presence of asbestos in Guy’s Hospital – which was founded in the 18th century – has been known for some time.

Consultant anaesthetist Andrew Lawson, who was a medical student at St Guy’s Hospital, died aged 55 two years ago from mesothelioma..

He wrote in the Telegraph before he died: “It seems that, while at medical school, I was exposed to asbestos fibres in some part of the hospital (four other doctors and dentists from my era developed the disease; I am the only one surviving).”

But the Health and Safety Executive – the watchdog which monitors hospitals – said the fact London’s hospitals know exactly where their asbestos is suggests responsible management.

“Lots of buildings have asbestos,” a spokeswoman said. “If you want a building used as a work place then the duty holder has a duty to manage the asbestos.

“And sometimes it’s less risky to leave it in place. It only becomes harmful if the fibres are released in the atmosphere.”

Ms Darlison said: “As long as it’s not airborne, it’s allegedly not a risk. The problem is it’s so prevalent in the fabric of our buildings.

“We all know our public buildings, schools, colleges, hospitals have a lot of traffic and the traffic that goes through them does not always take care of the building, the banging of wheelchairs, the slamming of doors.

“The only long term solution is to have a strategy of removing it.” Other hospitals said no cases had been brought against them, although they shared figures of how much had been spent on removing the harmful material.

Figures revealed Camden and Islington’s NHS Trust manages 32 sites which have asbestos, with the organisation spending £525,091 on removal work since 2001 – including from St Pancras Hospital.

North London’s Barnet, Enfield and Haringey NHS Trust said it has 54 sites which contain asbestos and has spent £105,000 getting rid of it.Three buildings owned by South West London and St George’s NHS Trust – including wards, offices, staff accommodation and hospital areas – have asbestos, while west London’s Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Trust says it owns 20 properties with the substance and has spent a total of £143,755 on removal work.

The HSE spokeswoman said most compensation claims date back to workers’ exposure decades ago and said someone who has an asbestos-related illness today would likely have contracted it around 30 to 40 years ago.

Asbestos still kills around 5,000 workers every year – more than the number killed on the road – and can be present in any building built before or refurbished before 2000.

It only becomes harmful when the materials containing asbestos is disturbed or damaged and the fibres are inhaled.

A spokesperson from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust said: “Guy’s and St Thomas’ is one of the largest trusts providing both hospital and community services from many sites.

“We have a major capital development programme each year, much of which involves carrying out renovations and developments within existing buildings. This will sometimes involve the removal of asbestos as part of these works.

Contact us: 0121 550 0224

Source: http://www.standard.co.uk/

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Bradley Environmental – Shutdown Days

Bradley Environmental would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! 2016 has been an excellent year for Bradley Environmental.

New work contracts have meant that we have lots of new people working in the business. This will ensure that our commitment to delivering excellent customer service continues. We plan to continue our growth in 2017, with expansion plans into new areas and locations.

You can also follow us on our social media accounts for all the latest Asbestos News, Bradley News and Training Updates. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Linked in. We also have an Asbestos Blog that will keep you up-to date with Asbestos industry news.

BUSINESS OPERATIONS OVER THE CHRISTMAS PERIOD Please be aware that all of our offices will be closed on 23rd – 28th and 30th December until 3rd January.

Contact Us – www.bradley-envio.co.uk or Call: 0121 550 0224 or email:info@bradley-enviro.uk

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