Upminster fly-tipper given suspended jail sentence

Upminster fly-tipper given suspended jail sentence for dumping asbestos waste

A recent article that we spotted in the Newham Recorder was, we thought, another good illustration among many of the various problems that can be caused by dumped asbestos, which specialist asbestos removal contractors often have to take considerable care to clear up.

The story concerned a fly-tipper from Upminster, east London, who dumped 36 tonnes of asbestos-contaminated waste on a street in the Newham neighbourhood of Beckton. For this, the 26-year-old was handed a suspended jail sentence.

Offences supported a £400-a-week cocaine habit

Stuart Beattie dumped the dangerous rubble in two separate spots on Eric Clarke Lane in March this year, with the court hearing that he required the money from fly-tipping to support his £400-a-week cocaine habit. His actions forced the closure of the road and the diversion of buses, while the entrance to children’s riding stables was also blocked.

Last month, he admitted fly-tipping at Thames Magistrates Court. The seriousness of the offence led the case then being transferred to Snaresbrook Crown Court.

The judge took into account Beattie’s admission and cooperation with a drug rehabilitation order to tackle his addiction in handing him a two-year suspended jail sentence. He was also convicted of driving offences on the basis of the four-axle dumper truck he used being found to be unsafe, uninsured and used without a waste carrier’s licence.

Beattie’s punishment also included a £1,900 fine and an order to pay Newham Council £2,500 in compensation.

A very serious offence, but was the punishment heavy enough?

Councillor Forhad Hussain, cabinet member for crime and anti-social behaviour at Newham Council, expressed his disappointment with the sentence. He told the Recorder: “In this case it cost the council over £8,000 just to clear the mess, that’s without the cost of the investigation, surveillance and man hours to bring the case to court.

“The £2,500 compensation simply doesn’t cover the costs – and it’s Newham Council tax payers who will have to pick up the tab.

“This is an extremely disappointing result for Newham and its residents… the courts must make the penalty fit the crime. Fly-tipping on this scale is big business, with big profits.”

We would struggle to disagree with Mr Hussain’s assessment here at Trident Asbestos Solutions. Too few people realise the important role of asbestos removal contractors’ work in safely clearing away and disposing of asbestos when it has been illegally dumped.

By contacting our team today, you can receive guidance related to any worries about you may have about asbestos that may require the attention of our suitably experienced and qualified professionals.

 

 

Hundreds of public buildings may contain asbestos

 

Asbestos in Scottish schools condemned as ‘health time bomb’

Medical and legal experts have said that a health “time bomb” has been created by the use of asbestos in Scotland’s schools, as increasing numbers of people are being diagnosed with conditions related to the lethal fibres.

Hundreds of public buildings may contain asbestos

Among the experts to have weighed in on the pressing asbestos debate in Scotland is Edinburgh-based occupational hygienist Robin Howie, who has said that there could be “significant asbestos content” in hundreds of public buildings.

He added that among the heightening numbers of people expected to live into their 80s or older, more and more men will survive for long enough to develop the asbestos-related lung disease mesothelioma, instead of dying earlier from other illnesses, as previous generations did.

Mr Howie has predicted that there will be around 130,000 male mesothelioma deaths in Britain between 2014 and 2049, compared to the 50,000 recorded between 1969 and 2014.

As he stated to an asbestos conference in Glasgow: “This is not going away. We are not even at the beginning of the end. And at some point, the government of the day are going to have to face it.”

Too many unnecessary deaths due to school-based asbestos

Scotland presently has the highest global incidence of mesothelioma, according to the University of Glasgow, which said that 175 cases had been diagnosed in 2014.

Just one of the many sad examples is the case of Sandra Naylor, who died from the condition in 2014, aged 52. It is thought that she developed the disease as a result of exposure to asbestos dust during her time as a pupil at Caldervale High School in Airdrie in the 1970s.

Her husband, Iain, is now calling for all prospective councillors to prioritise the issue.

He commented: “We were so upset at the diagnosis because we couldn’t understand how she was exposed. Sandra didn’t work in heavy industries or anything like that.

“I lost my wife because she was a pupil in a school full of asbestos. How could that happen? How many others have been affected?”

Contact Trident Asbestos Solutions now about our services and advice on asbestos removal.

With Laura Blane, a partner with Thompsons Solicitors, having described the situation of asbestos in Scottish schools as “an enormous ticking time bomb”, the need for the most appropriate asbestos removal services for public buildings throughout the UK has surely never been clearer.

Talk to the Trident Asbestos Solutions team now about the services that we can provide to give you vital peace of mind when you have responsibility for a building that you suspect may contain the often fatally harmful substance.

 

 

 

Disagreement between the HSE and Trust

Health and Safety Executive accuses cinema trust of ‘potentially’ exposing people to asbestos

Fresh concern has been raised about the potential risks to the public, volunteers and employees at a historic cinema that closed late last year over fears of asbestos.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said to the trust that runs the Market Hall Cinema in Brynmawr, Wales that it “potentially exposed volunteers, employees and members of the public to asbestos”, adding that there had been “several significant contraventions of the law.”

As reported by Wales Online, the HSE communicated its criticisms in a notice published in February, following an investigation in which asbestos was apparently discovered to have been stored in black bin bags inside the cinema. The government body said that users of the building could have been at risk since the Trust’s takeover in June 2013.

However, some of the findings have been disputed by the Market Hall Cinema and Arts Trust.

Disagreement between the HSE and Trust

The executive sent its notice to the 123-year-old cinema’s trustees on 16th February, and requested that volunteers and employees be informed of the lethal substance’s possible impact on their health.

The HSE also asked to be provided with information about a volunteer who had removed asbestos from the wall between the auditorium and the former library, so that it could provide advice to them on the dangers of asbestos.

Among the criticisms of the Trust outlined in the HSE’s notice was that it failed to ensure volunteers had the necessary information, instruction and training for undertaking work with asbestos. The Trust was also accused of ignoring Blaenau Gwent Borough Council’s asbestos management plan and of failing to have a refurbishment and demolition survey undertaken for the areas on which it was working.

Although the executive has said that action will not be taken against the Trust, it added that it may review this decision if further evidence emerges. The Trust will also be required to pay a fee to the HSE to cover the investigation’s cost.

A spokesperson for the Trust said that it regarded “critical elements of the decision issued by the HSE” to be “factually incorrect” and that it was therefore “in the process of challenging assumptions contained within the document regarding alleged actions that misrepresent the true picture.”

Enquire about our asbestos services including asbestos removal project management

Get in touch with the Trident Asbestos Solutions team today to learn more about how our asbestos removal project management could give you the reassurance that you require about any building for which your own organisation has responsibility.  

 

 

 

 

Pupils ‘hosed down’ amid asbestos fear at North East school


asbestosPupils ‘hosed down’ amid asbestos fear at North East school

Pupils at a crumbling North East school had to be “hosed down” to ensure they did not
have asbestos fibres on them, the Commons Public Accounts Committee heard.

The committee, which is holding an inquiry into capital funding for schools including school buildings, heard from former headteacher at Hetton School in Sunderland, Phil Keay, as well as current acting headteacher Craig Knowles.

“When ceilings lift, the dust then falls”

The headteachers spoke about the risks to pupils as the school faced an almost decade-long wait for new buildings after originally being told in 2007 that it would be rebuilt as part of the then-Labour government’s Building Schools for the Future programme.

However, this was cancelled when the Conservative-led coalition government came to power in 2010. After several years of uncertainty as to whether the school would be rebuilt after all, including the collapse of a private funding deal, pupils were finally able to move into new buildings last September.

Mr Knowles told MPs: “We had to close various different areas of the school in windy conditions because of the potential asbestos problems.”

Mr Keay said that asbestos would be exposed when wind passed through the building and caused ceiling tiles to rise, explaining: “When ceilings lift, the dust then falls.

“So we had two or three cases where we had to close off school, and in fact pupils had to go into the de-fumigation van, the emergency van, to make sure they were de-dusted and hosed down and cleaned.

“It was not a building that was fit to have children in for several years prior to its closure and move to a new building.”

Continuing concerns over school asbestos procedures

According to the Government’s own report, a fifth of schools are “not fully compliant” with proper asbestos procedures, leaving about a million children at risk of exposure.

The report also stated that 100 schools were considered to be a “significant cause for concern”.

Is your own school doing everything it can to guard against the risk asbestos could pose to the health and wellbeing of your pupils? Here at Trident Asbestos Solutions, we take pride in undertaking comprehensive asbestos management to give our clients the very greatest peace of mind.

 

 

 

Asbestos still present in over 80% of schools

One in five’ schools pose asbestos risk to students and staff

The subject of asbestos in schools has rumbled on for long enough to be highly familiar to many of those enquiring about the asbestos management plans that Trident Asbestos Solutions can provide. Now, the Education Funding Agency (EFA) has released a report revealing that schoolchildren and teachers are being put at risk of exposure to the lethal fibres in about one in five of England’s schools.

Asbestos still present in over 80% of schools

Many alarming statistics appear in the report, including that asbestos remains present in 83% of schools, as well as that 19% have been failing to safely manage the risk. In more than 100 schools, the situation has been sufficiently serious for the Department for Education (DfE) to be forced to intervene.

The research into how asbestos in schools is managed involved the participation of more than 5,500 schools, 4,646 (83.1%) of which reported the presence of the potentially deadly substance. The research also found significant failures to protect against the risks of asbestos.

“Around 20% were not fully compliant,” the report stated, “in that they did not have fully documented plans, processes and procedures in place at the time of the data collection; or did not know if asbestos was present.

The report continued that there was “significant cause for concern” in 114 schools, all of which were contacted, “have provided assurances that asbestos, where it is still present, is being managed effectively and have adequately addressed our concerns.”

New asbestos risk management guidance issued to schools 

Worries about the number of schools failing to properly manage the risks of asbestos have led the EFA to release new guidance, including a reminder to schoolteachers not to put drawing pins into walls, given the potential for this to release asbestos fibres where the material is present.

The EFA has said: “Managed carefully, the presence of asbestos in your school will not pose a risk to your staff and pupils. However, poor management of asbestos in your school could endanger lives.”

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, stated in response to the news: “It is deeply concerning that 20% of those schools responding to the data collection were not fully compliant with regulations.

“Asbestos is lethal. The only safe asbestos is removed asbestos. The DfE must bring forward proposals for the phased removal of all asbestos in schools without delay.”

If you have fears about the presence of asbestos in your own school and the risk it could pose to your students and staff, we would urge you to contact us here at Trident Asbestos Solutions. Our asbestos removal contractor audits can play a critical role and provide vital peace of mind.

 

 

 

 

 

Fears of contamination posing a risk to beach users

Asbestos concerns raised over partially collapsed Victorian pier

We see many a news story from time to time here at Trident Asbestos Solutions that helps to demonstrate the wide range of circumstances in which specialists in asbestos removals may be required, but it’s not every day that we report on the collapse of a prominent historic structure.

However, such is the nature of a story that we have recently spotted in the North Wales Daily Post, reporting the sad partial collapse of Colwyn Bay’s Victoria Pier.

Of more obvious relevance to our own line of business was the warning by a prominent local business leader that if the Grade II-listed structure was allowed to completely fall into the sea as feared, the beach could become polluted with asbestos – posing a risk to visitor safety.

Fears of contamination posing a risk to beach users

The pier was officially opened in June 1900 but has been in a state of disrepair in recent years, prompting a judge to declare in 2015 that it was unsafe and in danger of collapsing into the sea at any moment. This finally occurred in part earlier this month.

This has led Roy Bichan, vice-chairman of the North Wales Economic Ambition Board and chairman of the board at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, to express his concern that if the pier completely collapsed, a large amount of asbestos could be deposited on the seashore.

The Rhos-on-Sea resident particularly highlighted the pier’s largest building, which he said contained asbestos in its roof and sidings, commenting: “Conwy Council have been pretty clear the buildings have a large quantity of asbestos in them, which was of course the ‘miraculous’ material used at the time.”

Mr Bichan added that “to be fair, in my opinion the council are trying to do the right thing but are being blocked by the likes of Cadw”, a reference to the Welsh government’s historic environment service.

He asserted that “to demolish safely is the only option. If it collapses, asbestos would end up in the sea and on the beach. It would be hazardous as the beach would have to be sealed off. It would become a major health hazard.”

Calling the pier an “eyesore”, he said that those attempting to save it “do not live in the real world”.

Council “fully aware of the risks”

A Conwy Council spokeswoman said the authority was “fully aware of the risks” and that “any works to the pier will be carried out in a safe, carefully planned and controlled manner” in light of the presence of asbestos in its buildings.  

Nonetheless, such a story is perhaps a reminder, once again, of how crucial it is for the owners and managers of all manner of structures in the UK to be proactive in undertaking professional and effective asbestos removals before the lethal fibres are allowed to pose any danger to public health.

Contact the Trident Asbestos Solutions team now about the services that we can provide in relation to your own organisation’s premises.

 

 

 

 

 

Children ‘played’ in the dangerous ash

‘Snow-like’ asbestos from Army base fire prompts legal action against Ministry of Defence

Asbestos removal and project management companies like ourselves here at Trident Asbestos Solutions are continually reminded of the importance of our work by the many sad stories that surface in the news about exposure to the deadly substance.

Such has continued to be the case in the early weeks of 2017, with the Mirror reporting that lawyers for three victims are suing the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in relation to a blaze near an Army base in 1983.

Devastating incident left asbestos fibres ‘scattered’

The inquest of 63-year-old Susan Maughan ruled that her death in 2015 was attributable to mesothelioma, a terminal cancer that is strongly associated with the inhalation of fatal asbestos fibres.

However, unlike many sufferers of the condition, the mother-of-four was never exposed to the substance as part of her job, with the coroner instead linking her disease to the fact that she lived next to the Army’s Central Ordnance Depot at Donnington, near Telford, Shropshire, at the time of the blaze.

The fire scattered asbestos-containing ash across an area of 15 square miles, necessitating cleanup work by Army teams in protective suits across nearby streets and villages.

Children ‘played’ in the dangerous ash

Lawyers for the family and two others have now said they will sue the MoD after the coroner described Mrs Maughan as having “almost certainly” been exposed to asbestos from the blaze.

Her children have even said that they “played” in the asbestos-laden ash, prompting fears that they, too, will eventually develop the deadly condition that often only produces symptoms many decades after the initial asbestos exposure.

Her 45-year-old daughter Lorraine Laketic, who was only 12 when the fire occurred, recalled: “I remember grey snowflakes falling from the sky onto our street and our garden. We all played in it thinking it was Christmas. My mother always liked tidiness, even in her garden.

“I remember watching her picking up the debris off the floor and putting it into our garden bin.”

Mrs Maughan’s GP, Dr Peter Larmour, told the hearing in March 2016 that she had visited the surgery twice, in 2011 and 2012, with breathing difficulties. The Winsford, Cheshire resident was diagnosed with mesothelioma and received three years of chemotherapy treatment, at one point needing to be treated for a collapsed lung as a consequence of the disease.

Another vital warning to today’s organisations and businesses

Such a sad story should serve as yet another urgent reminder to firms across the country of the importance of having their premises professionally surveyed for asbestos.

Trident Asbestos Solutions is one of the leading national companies who manage asbestos removal, and is ready and waiting to take your call if you have any concerns about the potential risk to those using your organisation’s buildings – whatever your sector.

Get your property surveyed before you work on it

Asbestos surveys and testingDIY enthusiasts and decorators could be putting themselves at risk of asbestos poisoning

The law firm Slater and Gordon recently compiled a report after surveying 2,098 Brits, showing that 48% of them were not concerned about the health risks when carrying out home improvements.

Slater and Gordon, which deals with asbestos claims, has warned that many DIY tasks, such as drilling, sawing, painting and sanding, could expose people to deadly asbestos.

Asbestos has less chance of causing mesothelioma or asbestosis when the fibres are left undisturbed, but nudging them or creating holes in walls where asbestos might be present can release microscopic fibres that could be inhaled and harboured in people’s lungs for years.

Asbestos was once widely used

Although the use of asbestos in the UK was banned in 1999 on account of the substance’s harmful nature, many schools, council buildings and residential properties may still contain the material within their walls.

Asbestos was used liberally throughout the country in construction for insulation and as a means of deterring fire, which is why the risk of it still existing in homes is so high. Despite the risks, many people do not consider the presence of asbestos in their homes when performing DIY tasks that may release dangerous fibres into the air.

The research carried out by Slater and Gordon found that 73% of the survey’s participants were living in houses that were 30 years or more old, but that only 6% had carried out an asbestos survey before doing their work.

 Get your property surveyed before you work on it

One simple mistake when putting up a shelf or even drilling in a screw could lead to mesothelioma years down the line, which remains a terminal form of cancer.

This doesn’t need to be the case, however. Homeowners can still perform the home renovations that they wish to make, but before they do so, they are advised to make sure their property is surveyed properly for the presence of asbestos.

Trident Asbestos Solutions can perform comprehensive surveying for your property, offer site audits for asbestos removal contractors and help make the asbestos removal process much simpler. To learn more about our services or book a quote, please get in touch with us today.

 

 

Concerns about the continued asbestos risk in schools

Asbestos in schoolsAsbestos claims related to English schools surpass £10 million

English councils have paid over £10 million in compensation to those exposed to deadly asbestos in schools over the last decade.

BBC News analysed figures relating to 32 councils that have settled claims from former pupils, teachers and staff in recent years.

According to the Government, £23 billion will be invested to improve school buildings, but campaigners say that pupils remain at risk of contracting asbestos-related illnesses.

Information gathered from Freedom of Information requests showed which areas had paid out the most in asbestos-related claims between 2006 and 2016.

East Sussex County Council topped the list, with nearly £1.3 million paid to claimants in relation to asbestos-related illnesses – more than 10% of the total paid across the UK. Kent and Devon have the next highest payouts of all the regions, paying out over £700,000 each.

Concerns about the continued asbestos risk in schools

The £10 million figure does not take into account the councils that have refused to disclose how many asbestos-related claims they have settled, which could mean that much more has been spent in compensation.

Before the use of asbestos in building materials was banned in 1999, many buildings still used asbestos for insulation and fire-proofing. It is thought that almost all school buildings built before 2000 are likely to contain some form of the lethal substance.

 Rachel Reeves MP, chair of the Asbestos in Schools group, commented: “This is a ticking time bomb because very few teachers and parents know that there is asbestos in schools. The very least we should do is make sure that this information is available to them”.

Contact Trident Asbestos Solutions today about asbestos removal

Asbestos may be safe when left alone, but teachers and students are often unaware of the extent of the fatal fibres in their own schools, and may be at risk if the substance has been disturbed previously.

Much the same can be said of a house, business or even garage, which is why it is so important to take appropriate measures to minimise the risk in any property for which you have responsibility.

Contact Trident Asbestos Solutions today for a comprehensive check of your property, as well as to learn about our safe and cost-effective asbestos removal services.

Asbestos illegally dumped on country road


mesothelioma

Asbestos illegally dumped on country road outside Rugby

Asbestos was recently found in a mound of illegally dumped rubbish on Penn Lane, off the A5 near Wibtoft in Rugby, Warwickshire. The tipped waste completely blocked off the country lane and was estimated to have been blocking the area for four days straight.

Trained contractors were hired to clear away the debris, which included several tyres, a fridge and car seat, as well as piles of deadly asbestos. The local council’s environmental protection team was called to inspect the scene after the asbestos was reported on 14th November.

This illegal tipping has created a substantial clean-up bill for the council, going well into the thousands. The council is appealing to anyone who may have information about the illegal tippers and their whereabouts.

The environmental spokesperson for Rugby Borough Council, Councillor Lisa Parker, stated: “This has the hallmarks of a commercial fly-tip carried out by someone happy to make an easy profit at the expense of the environment and the council taxpayer.”

Never underestimate the need for responsible asbestos removal

The inconsiderate manner in which this asbestos was handled suggests that it could have made itself into the air and harmed nearby wildlife.

Incorrect asbestos removal, or its disturbance, can release harmful fibres in the air that could be inhaled and cause asbestosis or mesothelioma.

Thankfully, specially trained contractors were able to safely remove the asbestos buried among the other rubbish two days after it was identified, ensuring that no threat will be posed to people walking along that path in the future.

Safe and reliable asbestos removal from Trident Asbestos Solutions

If you suspect that your domestic or commercial property might contain asbestos and therefore need to be surveyed, we can provide asbestos removal management solutions to reduce the risk of asbestos-related cancer in homeowners or employees.

Trident Asbestos Solutions can identify the presence of asbestos insulation in any home, business or other commercial building and remove it, without releasing fibres or causing damage to the property.

To learn more about our asbestos removal project management services, ask for advice or receive a competitive quote, please feel free to contact our friendly and professional team today.

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