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In Court on Asbestos charges

London based Barroerock Construction Limited plead guilty to repeated asbestos failing’s resulting in a hefty fine of three-quarters of a million pounds.

Canterbury Crown Court heard how between the years of 2013 and 2014, two investigations were carried out by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) to a site in Ashford, Kent where Barroerock carried out works to a nine-storey office building known to contain asbestos.

The first, a routine inspection, identified that a refurbishment and demolition (R&D) survey had been carried out however the contractor had failed to act upon it. In turn, 40 workers were known to be exposed to harmful asbestos during the demolition project.

HSE inspector Melvyn Stancliffe said after the hearing:

“The company’s failings in this case has put many workers at risk to the exposure of asbestos. It was clear there was an endemic failure to effectively manage the construction work on the site in a way which ensured that asbestos materials were not disturbed until removed under appropriate conditions. Failing to prevent the breathing in of asbestos fibres on the site is reckless.”

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Allium Engaging with Safety Professionals

Jason Hocking our Technical Manager was delighted recently to be asked to give a presentation on Asbestos Regulations and Asbestos Removal by Hazel Joyes, Chair of the Somerset Occupational Health and Safety Association.

Always happy to stand around chatting, Jason dashed off to Taunton where 15 members of the group attended the short seminar held at the Western Power Training Venue.
Whilst all the members present had their own specialisations and were already well versed in the main requirements of CAR 2012, it was felt that they may benefit from a discussion around choosing a reputable and competent contractor, checking enforcement history and what to expect from a licensed contractor on site; from segregating working areas and signage to enclosure construction, controlled stripping techniques, re-occupation certificates and waste transfer notes.

After the event Jason commented that “it was a pleasure to discuss these subjects with professionals who were truly interested in the practical side of dealing with asbestos. There was lively debate with lots of relevant questions so I hope everyone learnt something useful”.

If you are engaged in Health and Safety in Somerset, why not consider joining SOHSA? Take a look at their website

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Asbestos isn’t just a land based problem

Following the 2009 Amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as Amended (Resolution, MSC.282(86)), the IMO Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (2009; SR/CONF/45) and subsequent IMO circulars, the installation of asbestos products into new vessels has been banned since 1 January 2011. Asbestos (and other hazardous products) detected on board the existing ship must now be listed within an ‘Inventory of Hazardous Materials’ to enable a safe environment for crew, passengers and visitors.

Focusing on existing ships Under the SOLAS asbestos regulations, existing ships are split into two main groups. Those built before 1 July, 2002, are allowed to have asbestos on board. Those built after this date are subject to the ban on most new installations and should only have very limited amounts of asbestos on board.

Asbestos found on board ships in contravention of SOLAS is required to be removed. Ship owners need to make sure that this is managed safely and carefully, The Circular allows a maximum of three years to remove the asbestos. An exemption certificate is required to continue trading during this time. If the ship has not had the asbestos removed after the three years, it must remain where it is until it has been removed.

Allium have a vast experience of working on marine vessels and can assist Ship owners with asbestos surveys, asbestos management plans for vessels and Inventory of Hazardous Materials production.

by Imogen Coleman Imogen Coleman No Comments

Cancer Cure 2017: New Drug Could Treat Cancer Caused by Asbestos

Cancer Cure 2017: New Drug Could Treat Cancer Caused by Asbestos

In the past, asbestos was used as a very popular building material until it was discovered that exposure to it causes cancer.

Doctor Holding Xray

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is incredibly deadly, a new drug to treat this condition is currently being tested on 300 British patients.

The new method of treatment has already been used for several other types of cancerous tumor, but it is hoped that it will be an effective treatment for mesothelioma by harnessing the body’s own immune system in order to overcome it.

The drug is called nivolumab and it is reportedly effective in treating melanoma and kidney cancer. The medicine works by blocking a protein referred to as PD-1 on the surface of T-cells, which allows cells of the immune system to be activated and in turn, hunt down and kill cancer cells.

“The UK has one of the world’s highest incidences of mesothelioma and currently there aren’t many ways to treat it,” Professor Gareth Giffiths of the University of Southampton said. “Boosting the immune system by releasing killer T-cells that have previously been blocked could offer us a new way to treat more patients with this devastating disease.”

For more advice information around mesothelioma, visit the Mesothelioma Center website.

by Imogen Coleman Imogen Coleman

Asbestos Within Public Buildings In Scotland Remain A ‘Health Time Bomb’

Asbestos Within Public Buildings In Scotland Remain A ‘Health Time Bomb’

Scotland has seen an increase of asbestos-related conditions claimed by those working in affected buildings.

Construction intructors on site

Currently Scotland has the highest global incidence of the condition, according to the University of Glasgow there has been more than 175 cases diagnosed in 2014 alone.

Public buildings such as hospitals, schools, council headquarters, alongside many more have all been found to contain asbestos materials. Laura Blane, a partner with Thompsons Solicitors, disclosed the firm was dealing with an estimate of 200 cases of those exposed in such places.

She reported ‘It is no exaggeration to say that this is an enormous ticking time bomb and I am seeing increasing numbers of cases.’

In addition, medical and legal experts claim that asbestos located within Scottish schools have created a ‘health time bomb’.

Communities in Scotland, victims of asbestos and their families are campaigning to the upcoming council elections to make the public aware of asbestos as ‘one of the biggest health scandals facing Scotland’.

The full story can be found here.

Are you the Duty Holder under CAR2012? Get in touch with one of our friendly team today to book a survey.