‘Lives at risk’ due to asbestos at former Essex bingo hall

‘Lives at risk’ due to asbestos at former Essex bingo hall

A builder has warned that public health is being imperilled by the presence of discarded asbestos at a disused Basildon bingo hall, in another development that helps to draw attention to the continued pressing need for the highest standard of asbestos awareness training across the UK.

Local authority warned three times about fibres

35-year-old construction manager Dal Herbert said he spotted the lethal substance at the side of the one-time Gala Bingo building in High Road, Pitsea, while on his way to the shops. He said to Essex-based newspaper The Echo that it appeared developers had pulled down the building’s ceiling to attempt to prevent it from falling, unaware that dangerous asbestos was being exposed as a result.

Mr Herbert said that he had got in touch three times over a several-week period with Basildon Council, which, it has since emerged, had ordered that the suspended ceiling be removed.

He commented: “Someone had pulled down the ceiling of the building, obviously trying to make it safer, but not knowing asbestos was there.

“I alerted environmental health at Basildon Council three times, but I was told it wasn’t their problem as it’s a private property.”

He expressed particular concern for the health of users of a bus stop in front of the building, adding: “There’s hundreds of people using that bus stop and everyone is oblivious. It’s very dangerous.

“Asbestos causes lung cancer and the symptoms don’t show for 20 to 30 years. You breathe in the fibres and they hook into your lungs.”

“If nothing is done it’ll be like the Grenfell Tower fire”

Similar sentiments were voiced by Hiren Dave, the owner of Shiv Food and Wine on Pitsea Broadway, who said: “Dal has warned me about it. He told me to make sure I tell people – especially old people because they always use the bus stop.

“If nothing is done it’ll be like the Grenfell Tower fire and it’ll be too late to do anything.”

According to The Echo, a Basildon Council spokesman has since confirmed that the local authority’s building control team asked the owner of the building to remove a suspended ceiling on the grounds of it being “in a dangerous state”.

The spokesman added: “It is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure the building is safe and any debris is disposed of responsibly.”

Such news of exposed asbestos fibres on a sensitive site like this – particularly so close to a frequently used bus stop – alarmed our team here at Trident Asbestos Solutions as much as it alarmed Mr Herbert and, we are sure, many of the users of our services.

Contact our team today for more information about the difference that our asbestos awareness training could make to your own team’s ability to identify and appropriately tackle asbestos on the sites for which it has responsibility.

Precaution taken, but asbestos “safe” and “undisturbed”

‘Structural issue’ at Bristol music venue prompts asbestos fears

A choir was forced to switch venue at late notice on a Saturday night after part of the main hall’s ceiling at Colston Hall in Bristol “fell off”, according to reports, amid fears about the dangers posed by possible asbestos in the building.

The Gurt Lush Choir was set to perform ‘Sex, Death and Poultry’ on 8th July, but had to move the event to Bristol University’s Wills Memorial Building after the unexpected incident.

An article in the Bristol Post said it understood that the affected section of the ceiling had collapsed on Friday night, rendering the space unusable. Choir member Nicola Harwin said there were fears that the crumbled section could contain asbestos.

Precaution taken, but asbestos “safe” and “undisturbed”

Ms Harwin, speaking on BBC Radio Bristol, commented: “As far as I can understand it a piece of ceiling has fallen off and there are concerns about whether there might be some asbestos or something.”

The Bristol music venue then issued a statement on Monday, clarifying: “The change of location was due to an unexpected minor structural issue in the main hall at Colston Hall.

“Over the weekend a small fracture in the ceiling of the main hall was identified and as we are aware of safe, undisturbed asbestos in the old part of the building we took the precaution to close the Hall for the evening as the safety of our visitors and performers is paramount.”

The venue added that it expected the issue to be resolved early in the week with no effect on any future shows.

Our asbestos removal contractors can put your mind at rest

If you have responsibility for similar premises to Colston Hall and wish to take advantage of asbestos management services that you can trust, we would be delighted to hear from you here at Trident Asbestos Solutions.

While the incident at Colston Hall appears to have passed without harm, it is crucial to be vigilant about the potential presence or risk of asbestos and how to appropriately manage it in your own building.

Contact Trident Asbestos Solutions’ renowned asbestos consultants today, and we can take swift and professional action at your own property to help to give you the utmost peace of mind.





Mesothelioma is notorious for developing late


Even four decades after asbestos exposure, the risk of mesothelioma continues to go up

Anyone with any experience in the discovery and removal of asbestos will be aware of the lethal cancer of the lung lining, mesothelioma, which is strongly associated with exposure to the now-banned fibres and is almost always fatal. Nor are people in the UK ceasing to die from the disease, long after the era when asbestos was widely used, as shown by Health and Safety Executive statistics from 2014 showing 2,515 deaths.

Now, a new study has been published in the journal Lung Cancer that shows even those who have not come into contact with asbestos for 40 years are still seeing their risk for the condition rise. Such individuals are almost three times more likely to develop the disease than those for whom exposure occurred just five years ago. Their risk is also higher than their counterparts exposed to the substance 30 years ago.

Mesothelioma is notorious for developing late

It is no secret that mesothelioma tends to have a long latency period, which means that those who come into contact with asbestos may not show their first symptoms of the disease for many decades afterwards. This may help to explain why there has been little sign of asbestos-induced diseases decreasing in prevalence in most European countries, despite the European Union (EU) having banned all types of asbestos.

Researchers at the Poland-based Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine set out to analyse the relationship between when workers were last exposed to asbestos and their subsequent risk of developing mesothelioma, in a population of participants who had been exposed to the substance at some point in time.

They found that workers exposed 40 years ago were 2.68 times more likely to develop mesothelioma than those who had encountered asbestos 35 years later. Of the different types of asbestos, crocidolite – often known as blue asbestos – was associated with a significantly higher mesothelioma risk.

The chances of developing the disease were also greater for those who had been exposed to asbestos for a longer time period, with those who had been in contact with it for four decades being 2.79 times more likely to develop the condition than those exposed to it for only one year. This was the case even when adjustments were made for such factors as birth year, gender, the amount of exposure and the time that had passed since they were last exposed.

We can oversee the professional removal of asbestos

The Trident Asbestos Solutions team takes the risks associated with asbestos exposure extremely seriously. This is why we are so committed to providing individuals and organisations across the UK with the most reliable and comprehensive services geared towards the rapid discovery and complete management of removal of asbestos from their premises.

Why not contact our team today for a competitive quote to assist you with your asbestos requirements, so that you can benefit from our UK-wide, nationally renowned service?


The Stockton Globe has a rich history

Former Teesside theatre ‘still on track for 2018 reopening’, despite the need to remove asbestos

With one our offices being located in nearby Sunderland and Durham, it’s fair to say that here at Trident Asbestos Solutions, we have a certain affection for the Teesside area. We were therefore pleased to learn that despite the enforced removal of asbestos from a historic former theatre in the area, the venue is apparently still on target to reopen as planned in the winter of 2018-19.

The Stockton Globe has a rich history

The Grade II listed Art Deco theatre situated at the north-western end of the High Street in Stockton-on-Tees has hosted many famous acts down the years, ranging from Buddy Holly, Cilla Black and Status Quo to Chuck Berry, the Rolling Stones and Cliff Richard. It closed in 1975, later reopening as a bingo venue before shutting its doors again in 1997.

Efforts to reopen the Globe as an entertainment venue have been stop-start down the years, with a planned 2012 reopening also being missed. The latest plans are for the building to be brought back to life as a live music and comedy venue by The Globe Stockton Foundation, a partnership between Stockton Council and the owners of the building, Jomast.

Venue still set to reopen “as quickly as possible”

£300,000 is being spent on the removal of asbestos in the roof void of the building, with the process expected to take 10 weeks.

A council spokeswoman commented: “The council is working hard to ensure the Globe can reopen as quickly as possible and that’s why we have been carrying out surveys and investigative works, as well as making the building watertight and safe.

“As part of this, areas containing asbestos have been identified and at the moment, specialist contractors are removing this from the building.

“We are now at the last stages of these preparatory works ahead of the final Heritage Lottery Fund decision, which is expected in the summer.”

Contact us about the removal of asbestos

Here at Trident Asbestos Solutions, we are aware that the project has been hit by a series of delays – including protracted wrangling over grant funding – but are hopeful and excited about the prospects for a successful restoration and future for this celebrated entertainment venue.

If you are concerned about the potential presence of asbestos fibres in a building for which you have responsibility, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts, who can carry out relevant surveying and if needed, the complete removal of asbestos.




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.






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