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.

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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.

Questions to be answered for local family who lost their beloved family member to an Asbestos related disease earlier this year

The devastated husband of a retired seamstress from Sunderland whose death was attributed to asbestos-related disease has appealed to her old colleagues to provide insight into how she could have come into contact with the lethal fibres.

Jean Davis died at the age of 81 at Sunderland Royal Infirmary in February, about 11 months after her diagnosis with mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the lung lining suffered by many of those to have inhaled asbestos.

Senior coroner for Sunderland, Derek Winter, recorded at an inquest a week after her death that she passed away due to industrial disease.

A search for answers for Jean’s loved ones

 Gordon Davis, who was married to Jean for nearly 60 years, instructed specialist industrial disease lawyers at the Newcastle office of Irwin Mitchell to look into her illness and determine whether she could have been prevented from coming into contact with the deadly substance.

It is as part of these investigations that the legal firm is asking any former workmate of Jean during the period between 1972 and 1989 when she worked as a seamstress at the site of County Luxdon Laundry Ltd on Wycliffe Road, Sunderland to get in touch.

Mr Davis’s legal representative, Emma Tordoff, said: “Just a couple of months on from her death, Jean’s family remain understandably devastated by their loss, and are desperate to understand how she came to develop mesothelioma.

“We are determined to ensure that Jean’s loved ones gain justice regarding her death. We would be hugely grateful to anyone who may be able to shed further light on the presence of asbestos at this site and the working conditions that Jean would have generally faced.”

What is already known about Jean’s workplace?

County Luxdon Laundry was later known as De Mille Cleaners. Jean worked within the company’s pressing area, which some witnesses have already told Irwin Mitchell was very hot due to the presence of irons and presses.

Furthermore, it has been suggested that asbestos lagging was present on pipework near where Jean worked.

Mr Davis, 83, commented: “Losing Jean has been incredibly difficult for me and the entire family. She was a very proud and secretive woman, so many of the family only ultimately learned of her illness around Christmas time, when her condition had deteriorated.

“While nothing will ever change what has happened, we all just want to know whether her illness could have been prevented and whether more should have been done to protect her. If anyone could help, it would be hugely appreciated.”

Through the vast range of asbestos-related services that we provide here at Trident Asbestos Solutions, including asbestos management surveys, demolition surveys, asbestos testing and the removal of asbestos, we can help to maximise your peace of mind with regard to the safety of your premises. Phone us now, on 03333 441555, for your competitive quotation.

 

Persistently high level of asbestos deaths a reminder that it is not a problem of the past

Despite the complete ban on asbestos in the UK in 1999, the tragedy of disease arising from contact with the lethal substance has not gone away. This much was demonstrated by the recent release of figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that showed 2,523 people died from mesothelioma in 2017, with this cancer of the lining of the organs almost exclusively caused by sufferers inhaling asbestos fibres.

While this figure is similar to the numbers to have been reported over the past half-decade, it means that mesothelioma deaths remain at historic highs. Indeed, rates of mesothelioma – which is nearly always fatal – almost doubled between 1995 and 2017.

There are thought to be comparable numbers of people dying from asbestos-related lung cancers; however, the difficulty in establishing a cause for lung cancer makes this harder to accurately measure. In the meantime, the HSE has predicted that annual numbers will remain at their current levels for the remainder of this decade before it expects to see a decline.

The importance of precautions for today’s workers re-emphasised 

Although the sustained high level of mesothelioma deaths over the last few years can be largely attributed to occupational asbestos exposure that occurred many decades ago before the dangers of the material became fully known, it remains present in hundreds of thousands of buildings.

Furthermore, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and charity Mesothelioma UK have warned tradespeople and others potentially likely to encounter the substance to take precautions.

Asbestos continues to be a particular problem in schools, for example, as shown by the recent story that the Department for Education (DfE) has referred nearly 700 schools to the HSE due to concerns that they were failing to safely manage asbestos in their buildings.

We can give you the complete suite of essential asbestos services

Are you seeking out highly trusted services related to the management and/or removal of asbestos, such as asbestos awareness training, asbestos management surveys or asbestos air monitoring?

Whatever your requirements may be, our team here at Trident Asbestos Solutions can provide highly informed and skilled services from our offices dotted around the UK. Call 03333 441555 today, and we will be delighted to give you the benefit of a competitive quotation.

Residents voice fears over ‘enormous amount’ of asbestos from Black Country school fire

Concerns have been expressed by residents of a Sandwell market town over the potential health implications of asbestos released into the air as a consequence of a blaze near their homes.

As reported by the Black Country Mail, a fire broke out on the night of Tuesday 12th March at the derelict Manor High School site in Friar Park Road, Wednesbury, forcing the attendance of about 50 firefighters from West Midlands Fire Service.

However, asbestos fragments are said to have drifted from the school during the fire, albeit away from instead of towards nearby properties.

“A tremendous amount of concern”

 The newspaper said that some local residents were worried for their safety and felt they had not been adequately informed about the incident.

One person living close to the fire was quoted as saying: “There is a tremendous amount of concern about the fire at the School on Friar Park Road. There is an enormous amount of asbestos in that building and the council need specialists in to act now.

“The heavy rain at the moment was a saving grace but we have gale force winds forecast for the next few days, which does not bear thinking about. The building needs containing in some way by specialists.”

Council bosses move to calm residents

 Chiefs at Sandwell Council have played down the concerns, however, reassuring those living near the fire that any asbestos fibres would have drifted away from their homes.

A council spokesman stated: “We have spoken to the fire service who have reassured us that any asbestos fibres from the material of the building would have been carried away from houses due to the wind direction.

“Long-term health effects resulting from being near fires where asbestos containing materials were present is very low. People were told to keep their windows closed as a precaution.

“There is no need to panic and there is no asbestos that requires cleaning up anywhere outside the school site.”

He added that the land had been fenced off and residents were advised against going onto the land for any reason while an investigation into the cause of the fire was still underway.

Our asbestos removal contractors are always available to answer to your needs

 Are you responsible for premises that necessitate the most sensitive, skilful and informed asbestos management or eradication? If so, Trident Asbestos Solutions can serve as your independent project managers and deal with reputable asbestos removal contractors on your behalf, and provide a wide range of other professional services.

Simply call 03333 441555 now for a competitive quotation in relation to asbestos management surveys, refurbishment surveys, air monitoring or all manner of other areas of expertise.

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