Stoke-on-Trent pottery factory asbestos exposure blamed for grandmother-of-five’s mesothelioma death

In another saddening sign of the continuing importance of asbestos consultancy and asbestos management services even in the 21st century, the death of a 70-year-old grandmother has been attributed to asbestos exposure at the site of one of Stoke-on-Trent’s oldest pottery companies.

Another tragic case of breathing in asbestos fibres

An inquest at Stoke’s civic centre ruled that Kathleen Capper, from Norton, died from an industrial disease after coming into contact with the lethal material at 210-year-old Wade Ceramics, where she worked for seven years prior to becoming a financial advisor.

Kathleen – who, as reported by the StokeonTrentLive website, did not smoke and only drank socially – was taken ill on a cruise. Subsequent tests at the Royal Stoke University Hospital found that she was suffering from epithelioid malignant mesothelioma.

Unfortunately, despite six rounds of chemotherapy, the disease progressed and she was admitted to the Douglas Macmillan Hospice in Blurton on 8th December, where she died a week later.

A post-mortem examination found the mesothelioma to have caused the grandmother-of-five and mother-of-two’s death.

“A known risk of exposure to asbestos”

Her husband, Raymond Capper, said in a statement: “Kathleen worked at Wade Ceramics pot bank for seven years before becoming a financial advisor.

“She was a non-smoker and drank socially. She was diagnosed with stage three malignant mesothelioma and had six rounds of chemotherapy.

“In October 2019 the disease progressed and she was admitted to the Douglas Macmillan Hospice on December 8 last year and she died on the 15th. I was present at her death.”

Sarah Murphy, North Staffordshire assistant coroner, commented: “I take into account that the deceased worked in a pottery factory where there is a known risk of exposure to asbestos.

“I’m satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that the disease was due to exposure at work and the disease caused the death.”

There’s no need to look elsewhere for asbestos services

Stories like the above are a reminder of just how pressing the need remains for the effective management of asbestos that lingers on premises across the UK today.

Despite the total ban on the use of asbestos in the UK in 1999, this potentially extremely harmful substance is still present in many buildings around the country, necessitating the most professional, safe and responsible services for dealing with it.

Contact the Trident Asbestos Solutions team today, and we will be able to bring you a competitive quote for any of a wide range of services, from management and demolition surveys to air monitoring, compliance checks and audits for asbestos removal contractors.

Former Stagehand workers death leaves surviving relatives ‘looking for answers’

The family of an ex-stagehand at a major film studio have said they are searching for answers after his death from an asbestos-related disease at the age of 74.

Edward Redmond, known as Eamonn, worked at multiple film studios between 1975 and 2003, with most of his time being spent at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire.

Mr Redmond initially worked as a painter’s labourer, later becoming a stagehand.

His first job required him to work in a painter’s workshop, an old building with a number of gas burners connected to heated pipes. His family believe that the lagging used to insulate the pipes and burners may have been asbestos.

His career also saw him work on set builds, in close collaboration with carpenters.

Only in the summer of 2016, several years after he had retired, did Mr Redmond begin to show symptoms of ill health. An x-ray revealed fluid on his lungs, while a CT scan eventually confirmed that he was suffering from mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer.

He passed away from the disease in October 2017, and his relatives are now seeking information on how and where he could have come into contact with the lethal substance.

They hope that his former colleagues at Elstree Studios will be able to provide insight into this, as they seek to take legal action against those responsible.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Hertsmere Borough Council, which has owned the studio since 1996, commented: “We are very sorry to hear about Mr Redmond’s illness and subsequent death and will, of course, respond to any requests for information from the family’s legal team that we receive.”

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Health Secretary has no idea how many Scottish hospital are riddles with Asbestos

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has admitted she has no idea how many Scottish hospitals could be riddled with asbestos.

World renowned doctor, Mags Portman who died of mesothelioma last year, was believed to have been poisoned by the killer dust while she was a trainee in Carluke, Lanarkshire.

Freeman has now revealed an investigation has been ordered to find out how many hospitals in Scotland could be affected after conceding her Government has no idea of the figure.

“The Scottish Government recognise the hazard of asbestos and the risks to health that it poses.

“Asbestos is only dangerous when disturbed and the advice from the Health and Safety Executive is that asbestos should remain in-situ providing it is in ‘good’ condition.

And even where damage is minor, it should still be encapsulated rather than removed. Therefore, if it is safely managed and contained, it doesn’t present a health hazard.”

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer, with about 2500 diagnoses in the UK each year. Nine in 10 cases are linked to exposure to asbestos, according to Mesothelioma UK.

The Scottish Government said: “As there is no central record of asbestos across the hospital estate, the Health Secretary has asked boards to provide this information by the end of April.”

Asbestos is still known as the Silent Killer, whether you are working in a domestic, commercial or industrial property built prior to 1999 you are required to have an asbestos register in place to comply with current legislation.

 

Asbestos found in Palace of Westminster’s Elizabeth Tower – better known as Big Ben

Restoration work on the mid-19th century structure is supposed to be completed by the end of 2021, but the repair bill has now gone up significantly.  Not only did the project team find that potentially lethal asbestos fibres were present in “unexpected places” in the tower, but pollution problems and damage caused by Second World War bombs have also contributed to the rise in costs.

The expenditure set at £18.6 million jumped to almost £80 million, after the discovery of a number of issues in the building, including asbestos.

Work to examine and repair the tower from top to bottom began in 2017. Hundreds of specialist craftspeople from around the UK are contributing to the restoration project, encompassing such traditional trades as stone masonry, glass cutting, gilding and horology.

Asbestos can be in any domestic, commercial or industrial property build prior to 2000. We can cater to your needs with regard to asbestos removals and management.

Please do not hesitate to contact us on 0191 549 4872 to discuss your circumstances and needs, and to ask for a competitive, tailored quotation.

Historic London cinema hit with £5 million bill after Asbestos found throughout the building prior to refurbishment works

Transformation of the former EMD cinema in Walthamstow into an approximately 1,000 seat theatre initially came with an anticipated £20 million price tag. However, this has now risen to £25 million – partly due to the discovery of asbestos throughout the building.

Waltham Forest Council purchased the Hoe Street property for £2.8 million in 2019, and intends to work with Solo Theatre to restore the building to help to improve the locality’s night-time economy.

The main refurbishment work is expected to start this summer, continuing until late winter 2021 or early 2022. However, while a budget of £19,950,000 was agreed for the project in January last year, the building was subsequently examined as soon as this became possible in the spring, when it was realised there were various other issues that needed to be rectified.

Those problems included – as well as the widespread presence of asbestos – water damage, pigeon infestation, internal leaks and corrosion to concealed steelwork. As a consequence, the local authority has now approved a heightened £25 million total budget.

The one-time EMD cinema – also known during various eras as Granada Cinema, MGM Cinema and ABC Cinema – is a Grade II* listed building.

The site at 186 Hoe Street has been associated with entertainment since 1896, when films were first shown there, and the present building – dating to 1930 – was even frequented by Sir Alfred Hitchcock.

Certainly, everyone here at Trident Asbestos Solutions wishes the best of luck to the team tasked with overhauling the cinema, and we hope it proves to be a vibrant venue for theatre in Walthamstow once restoration work is complete.

If you are interested in any of our highly regarded asbestos solutions – ranging from management surveys and air monitoring to re-inspections and audits for asbestos removal contractors – we would be pleased to hear from you.

Simply contact us now to request a competitive quotation for the service that will enable you to put your mind at rest.

 

Asbetsos found floating along the promenade on the South Pier in Blackpool causing major risk to public health

A court has heard that the owners of one of the UK’s best-known seaside piers created a major risk to the public in their handling of the demolition of an asbestos-lined arcade.

As reported by the Blackpool Gazette, locals and holidaymakers were allowed to roam in close vicinity as asbestos fibres from Blackpool’s South Pier floated along the Promenade, with people even being allowed into the arcade where the work was being undertaken.

Blackpool Magistrates heard that the owners of the pier – The Blackpool Pier Company – cut corners in an attempt to save money, as a circus-style roof was removed above the main landward arcade.

Blackpool Council, described the firm’s culpability as “very high”, adding: “The removal of asbestos was unsafe and uncontrolled. There was a major health risk on their hands to the public and the three men who worked on it.

She said that when Health and Safety officers intervened, it took nine days to clean up outside the pier and 12 days to clean up inside the pier, with the clean-up team working day and night on 12-hour shifts to finish the job.

Ms Bennett continued: “When council staff found asbestos on machines and the Promenade, a prohibition notice was served on the company closing areas down. The three members had used a Hoover to clean asbestos from the arcade carpet.

Company directors Fiona Blaylock and Peter Sedgwick Jr admitted to offences of failing to ensure the health and safety of the firm’s employees. The company itself, meanwhile, pleaded guilty to eight offences of failing to ensure the health and safety of employees and the public, and allowing asbestos fibres to be released into the atmosphere.

Sentencing will take place at Preston Crown Court on 4th December.

Don’t take any risks with your own premises 

If your organisation is in need of services and guidance in relation to the management and removal of asbestos – encompassing such areas of specialism as asbestos management surveys, demolition surveys, air monitoring and/or compliance checks – there’s no need to place your trust in any consultancy other than Trident Asbestos Solutions.

We provide comprehensive and reliable UK-wide coverage, so don’t hesitate to call 03333 441555 today for more information and a competitive quotation.

 

Asbestos fibres found in beer from the 1970’s thought to be the cause of soaring rise in throat cancer

Beer with Asbestos Fibres from the 1970’s is blamed for the soaring throat cancer – Cases have QUADRUPLE over the last 50 years – with 90% affecting men

Fibres were used in breweries to filter out microorganisms that affect beer quality
Some pubs added asbestos to left-over beer to make it ready to serve again
Exposure causes cases of gullet cancer to increase four times

Asbestos became weak when it was old and dried out, releasing dangerous particles into the air

Cancer Research UK says there are 25 new cases of gullet cancer, also known as oesophageal cancer every day and it is the 14th most common cancer in the UK.

If you have any concerns relating to asbestos please give us a call on 0191 549 4872.

Trident are a leading national provider of asbestos solution.  Whatever your asbestos requirements, we have the solution including asbestos surveys, asbestos air monitoring, asbestos removal project management and awareness training.

 

 

Playwright brings asbestos tragedy to the world of theatre

A new production from Scottish female-led theatre company Stellar Quines and the Citizens’ Theatre has been winning rave reviews from audiences and critics alike.

The play in question, Fibres, is the work of Glasgow-based playwright Frances Poet, and is presently touring Scottish venues, concluding at the city’s Whiteinch Centre on 2nd November.

Fibres began its run on the country’s theatre stages on 17th October, and documents the story of Clyde shipyard worker Jack and his wife, Beanie, who is nursing him through asbestosis. Their marriage is severely put to the test when they find out that the dusty overalls Jack brought home to be washed by Beanie, also poisoned her.

Poet said she was inspired to write a play about asbestos by an encounter after her daughter’s music class with a woman who told her, over coffee, that she had recently lost both of her parents to mesothelioma, just six months apart.

While the play shows the energy and humour that Jack and Beanie bring to this toughest of challenges, Poet has also said it contains “a lot of anger”, observing: “The first report linking asbestos exposure to lung disease was published as early as 1898; yet for a century after that, companies went on using it in the construction trades.

“In making the story into a play, though, I really felt the need to make it something more than an angry rant; I wanted to write a real human story, with love and laughter as well as tragedy – a story audiences would want to engage with.”

The cast, meanwhile, is something of a dream one, featuring Jonathan Watson (Only An Excuse, Two Doors Down) as Jack and Maureen Carr (Still Game) as Beanie, ably supported by Suzanne Magowan and Ali Craig.

The play is also backed by the asbestos charity Action on Asbestos.

Are you seeking highly qualified expertise on asbestos removals and management? 

In that case, there’s no need for you to place your faith in any other asbestos consultancy. We can provide our acclaimed services up and down the UK here at Trident Asbestos Solutions, including in Edinburgh, Sunderland, Durham, Leeds, Birmingham and London.

So why not call 03333 441555 today for your competitive quotation, whether your priority is asbestos removals, management, air monitoring or a different service altogether?

Councils still not providing adequate RPE to staff handling asbestos

Concerns expressed about lack of asbestos equipment for Aberdeen council staff 

Unions and councillors have raised fears that Aberdeen council workers are still not yet benefitting from equipment to shield them from the risk of asbestos exposure, despite this being required by almost three-decade-old legislation.

Where does the law stand? 

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 require that employers supply suitable equipment to anyone whose health could be endangered by the lethal substance.

However, a report to a recent city council staff governance committee revealed that some employees do not have access to respiratory protective equipment (RPE), despite the last 18 months having seen a number of high-profile asbestos incidents in the locality.

Last summer, for instance, workers encountered the potentially fatal fibres at Bridge of Don Academy, and it took five days for an emergency response to be ordered.

Subsequent incidents, in November at Beachview Court and during the demolition of Kincorth Academy in August, indicate the very real potential dangers to Aberdeen council workers lacking access to such vital equipment.

The report stated that the local authority hoped to meet its goal of providing all of its employees with RPE access by the end of this year.

“Not getting on top of the situation” 

SNP councillor David Cameron said: “We are now 14 months on from Bridge of Don and we have had other incidents at Beachview and Kincorth.

“We are obviously not getting on top of the situation as much as we would like.”

Meanwhile, Liam Knox of the Unite union agreed that there was a “risk” to council workers as a result of the continuing lack of equipment. He urged the committee to closely monitor the situation.

He added: “We have seen various incidents lately and it is something that needs to be kept a close eye on.”

However, the committee was also told that there was a need for detailed asbestos surveys prior to work being undertaken by either the council or external contractors.

Contact us about the highest standard of asbestos awareness training 

Trident Asbestos Solutions enjoy a national reputation for quality, reliability and a commitment to excellence which is recognised by the repeat business and testimonials received from many blue chip clients.

Simply call 03333 441555 now for your competitive quotation from our trusted, independent and impartial asbestos professionals.

Discovery of Asbestos at Liverpools India Buildings ‘Wont stop HMRC move’

HMRC are moving into the iconic India Buildings in Liverpool despite asbestos having been found at the Grad II listed landmark, according to both HMRC and he buildings owners.

The building was acquired by Legal and General for a record £125 million in 2018, currently been renovated so 3,500 tax workers can be rehomed by 2020.

However, the recent identification of asbestos in the Water Street building even led to one report suggesting that the entire relocation plan was under threat. This has been scotched, however, by both L&G and HMRC, which said that the proposed move was still on track.

An L&G spokesperson commented: “There has been some delay to the building works due to asbestos being uncovered. However this is being resolved and the building is not due to be delivered until next year. Therefore the deal is still progressing as planned.”

India Buildings was constructed between 1924 and 1932 as a speculative venture by shipping firm Blue Funnel Line, at the cost of £1.25 million – the equivalent of about £85 million today. The transaction that saw the site pass into new hands last year was a record for the sale of a single Liverpool office building.

In the wake of the news about asbestos being found in the building, it was revealed that contractor Styles & Wood had seen its deal to fit out the structure terminated, with a spokesperson for the company signalling that it intended to take legal action in response to what it considered a “wrongful” decision. Shelborn is now looking for a replacement contractor.

Can you be sure that your own premises are free of asbestos? 

Whatever the site that you are currently responsible for, it is crucial to be mindful about whether this extremely harmful substance could be present, not least given the scope for its necessary management and/or removal to delay any work you are looking to undertake.

With our complement of highly trusted and informed services here at Trident Asbestos Solutions ranging from management / refurbishment and demolition surveys, asbestos air testing to awareness training and re-inspections, Trident Asbestos Solutions can be your go-to asbestos consultancy.

Call 0191 549 4872 now for an in-depth discussion of your asbestos management or removal requirements, and to receive a competitive quotation for any of our specialised services.

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