Asbestos removal to begin at Redcar’s iconic Regent Cinema

With one of our regional offices here at Trident Asbestos Solutions being based in Durham, we always take a keen interest in any local developments affirming the continued importance of services like ours, which range from asbestos removal contractor audits to asbestos surveys, air monitoring, project management and advice.

One announcement that greatly saddened us earlier this year was that of the sudden closure of the Regent Cinema on the seafront of the North Yorkshire town of Redcar. The manager of one of Teesside’s oldest and most-loved cinemas confirmed in April that the decision had been made to shut the venue “for the foreseeable future” due to structural problems.

Since then, work has been underway to save the building, amid hopes that the closure will not be a permanent one – and the sensitive removal of asbestos is a key focus.

Playing a distinguished role in local history

 Generations of residents of the North East town have grown up with the Regent Cinema as a familiar landmark. Built as the New Pavilion over the entrance of the now-defunct Coatham Pier in 1928, it was for many years a successful music hall and repertory theatre, hosting such acts as “Britain’s first boy band”, the Dallas Boys, and Billy Breen – an early stage-name of comedy legend Larry Grayson.

Indeed, it is thought that Grayson’s catchphrase, “shut that door!”, originated in the town when he uttered it in response to wind from the sea blowing across the stage due to a side door having been left open.

It later became a cinema, and has been run by Neil Bates since the early 1990s. In 2007, ‘The Regent’ – as it is locally known – even became a movie star in its own right, appearing in Atonement, which also starred Keira Knightley and James McAvoy.

Manager still committed amid “frustrating situation”

 Local newspaper The Northern Echo reported on Tuesday that work to remove asbestos from the cinema had now been commissioned, and was expected to start in the coming weeks.

Cabinet member at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council for culture, tourism and communications, Carl Quartermain, said professionals were being engaged “to remove the asbestos in a secure way. Care has been taken to ensure the boards at The Regent don’t take away from the look and feel of our fantastic seafront.”

Bates commented: “It’s a frustrating situation but I remain committed to cinema in our borough. We’re hoping that temporary alternative venues to show films might be found while the required ongoing work is carried out at The Regent.”

We certainly hope here at Trident Asbestos Solutions that this vital asbestos removal work will be successful, and that this beloved landmark can return to use as a cinema in the near future. In the meantime, if your own organisation is in need of the most dependable asbestos removal contractor audits or related services, you are welcome to seek a quote from us by calling 03333 441555.

North East England records particularly high rate of asbestos-related deaths

As reported by the ChronicleLive website, figures have now been released detailing the number of deaths from asbestos-related disease across the UK over the last few decades, making for particularly grim reading for the North East of England.

North Tyneside and South Tyneside ranked third and fourth respectively on the death register, a sad reflection of the formerly thriving shipyard and building industry in this part of the country.

Thousands in the region recorded to have died due to asbestos

 The high occurrence of asbestos-related deaths in the North East is a subject that is especially close to our hearts here at Trident Asbestos Solutions, given the two offices that we maintain in the region, in Sunderland and Durham.

Nonetheless, given the history of the area, it sadly does not shock us that almost 6,300 deaths were recorded across the region from 1981 to 2015 due to exposure to the deadly fibres.

When the death numbers are compared to how many would normally be expected to die in the area – the standard mortality ratio – North Tyneside is placed third in the UK for the highest rate of male mesothelioma deaths, with 491. This compares to the 364 recorded for fourth-ranked South Tyneside, with only Barrow-in-Furness and West Dunbartonshire placing higher across the entire country.

As for female mesothelioma deaths, Sunderland came in second with 144, only beaten by Barking and Dagenham.

A truly bleak set of figures for the area

 The numbers from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) showed that between 1981 and 2015, 2,319 people – 1,969 male and 350 female – died of mesothelioma in the Tyne and Wear area alone. The rest of the North East saw 3,979 mesothelioma deaths – 3,415 male and 564 female – in the same timeframe.

It is all a very depressing reminder of the continued paramount importance of the work of asbestos removal contractors in ridding sites across the region and beyond of this potentially extremely dangerous material.

We can help to protect against the perils of asbestos

 Please contact the Trident Asbestos Solutions team today, on 03333 441555 or by completing and submitting our straightforward quote request form, to find out more about the work that our own professionals can do to make your premises safer.

We have offices in Edinburgh, Leeds, Birmingham and London as well as the North East of England, which enables us to provide a genuinely nationwide service.

Public ‘not at risk’ from asbestos after Glasgow nightclub fire

One of the sternest recent tests for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service occurred on the morning of Thursday 22nd March, when a fire took hold in the roof of a building on Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street that it was initially feared could spread to nearby structures such as the historic Pavilion Theatre.

Thankfully, that dreaded scenario did not come to pass, although the decision was made by Glasgow City Council not to allow staff access to the theatre for about two months amid concerns about smoke damage and damage caused to some of the venue’s doors by fire-fighters.

Nonetheless, one positive development is the fire service’s statement that there is “no risk” to the public of being exposed to asbestos as a result of the sad blaze.

Vital atmospheric testing undertaken

 According to a fire service spokesperson on 23rd March, atmospheric testing had been carried out and “concluded that there is no risk to the public from asbestos.”

However, the council deemed buildings at 92-96 and 98-106 – the latter including Victoria’s nightclub – to be unsafe, adding that they would have to be demolished.

The fire broke out at about 8:20am on the Thursday, and at its height, more than 120 fire-fighters and 20 fire engines were mobilised to the city centre.

What dangers can asbestos pose in fires like this?

 While worries about the asbestos risk from this particular high-profile fire have thankfully been quelled, that does not mean your own buildings could not pose such a danger in the event of a devastating conflagration like this.

The use of asbestos in buildings in the UK was completely banned before the end of the 20th century, but the harmful material may still be present in properties built or revamped before then.

Asbestos was once widely used in such areas of buildings as under the floorboards, boilers, pipework, insulation, calorifiers and heat exchangers. If a person inhales asbestos fibres, some may become trapped in the organs and cause deadly diseases such as lung cancer, asbestosis or malignant mesothelioma. Thousands of deaths each year are linked to asbestos-related diseases.

Don’t leave asbestos removals to chance

 If you are unsure whether the users or occupants of your buildings or members of the public could be exposed to asbestos on your premises, it’s essential to avoid any unnecessary risks.

Instead, get on the phone to our experts in asbestos removals here at Trident Asbestos Solutions today, calling 03333 441555 for your competitive quotation.  

Swindon toilet block regeneration put at risk by ‘asbestos’ find

Plans to refurbish toilets hit by drugs could be imperilled by the apparent discovery of asbestos in the building by staff of Swindon Borough Council.

It may mean the Mechanics Institution Trust loses a £12,000 grant that it secured from the Groundwork charity to overhaul the historic Swindon park’s toilets where 200 discarded needles were discovered in a single day last summer.

The group had proposed to transform the red brick building in Faringdon Road Park into a base for its volunteer gardeners, who work on the railway village park.

As things stand, however, the trust will lose the grant at the end of January.

Frustration over “lack of communication and progress”

Despite officers from Swindon Borough Council – which owns the toilet block – having seemingly found asbestos in the building, the Swindon Advertiser reported suggestions from “sources close to the discussions” who believed this could be an “excuse” that “many people don’t believe”.

Chris Watts, chairman of South Swindon Parish Council, warned that the development could end plans to refurbish the building.

He said to a meeting of the parish’s leisure and amenities committee this month: “The latest we have back from the council is that the building has excessive asbestos in it. This is not something we can verify. Their suggestion is that the costs of actually resolving the asbestos problem in the building would be far greater than the actual amount of money they have.”

The parish hopes to be put in charge of the park in the future.

Daniel Rose, director of the Mechanics Institution Trust, commented: “We continue to be very frustrated by the lack of communication and progress on this issue with the council. We want to see that building regenerated.”

He added that despite the trust having been given “extension after extension” to its Groundwork grant, it was presently set to lose that funding by the end of the month.

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “We are liaising with the parish council over the future of the toilet block in order to reach a resolution that suits all parties.”

A reminder of the importance of asbestos removal contractors

The cache of 200 drug needles was discovered around the building last July by shopkeeper Paul White, who told the newspaper that he had seen someone injecting themselves in the stomach “out in the open”, as well as “groups of people going into the toilets and doing who knows what, it beggars belief.”

The borough council responded by confirming its officers had begun daily inspections of the park.

The news of the fresh troubles for the toilet block’s proposed refurbishment is another reminder of the crucial role that asbestos removal contractors play in providing vital peace of mind to organisations and protecting public health.

When you require the services of a trustworthy and leading national asbestos consultancy, call Trident Asbestos Solutions on 03333 441555 to request your competitive quotation.

Oxford library asbestos ‘could have caused professor’s death’

Among the many deaths from mesothelioma – the lethal cancer usually caused by the breathing in of asbestos fibres – to have been reported in the news recently is that of a former professor at Oxford University, who passed away earlier this year, aged 93.

Dennis Shaw was a distinguished figure in the recent history of the university, having once held the position of ‘Keeper of the Books’ at the Bodleian Library, where an inquest has heard he may have come into contact with the notorious now-outlawed substance.

Efforts underway to trace academic’s possible asbestos exposure

 As reported by the Oxford Mail, Dr Shaw wrote a personal statement to his family during his dying days, outlining his former workplaces where he could have encountered the asbestos fibres that led to the development of his cancer.

 

A coroner heard that he was working at the Bodleian Library during the 1970s as major refurbishment and underground construction work took place, and that this may have been the source of the asbestos exposure that ultimately caused his death.

Dr Shaw made specific reference in his personal statement to the library, where he was employed as Keeper of Scientific Books from 1976 to 1991. Prior to taking on the position, he had made regular use of the library as a physics and science academic at the university’s Keble College. He served the college for more than 30 years in all.

He said that nearly every day during work to extend the Bodleian Library in the early 1970s, he was present for an hour and a half to supervise construction. In early December 2016, he was diagnosed with the cancer of the lung lining known as mesothelioma, and was told it was caused by hazards in his workplace.

A much-missed father

 Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp, assistant coroner for Oxford, commented: “Dr Shaw sadly died on July 20 this year of mesothelioma, which possibly had work-related causes. He died suddenly in the night.

“Mesothelioma is a disease that comes about due to someone’s exposure to asbestos. He was not aware of any exposure, but it is difficult to know when you’re clearing large amounts of dust during any building project.

“I would suggest the conclusion here is one of industrial disease.”

Dr Shaw’s 58-year-old daughter, Deborah, added after the inquest: “His family is very proud of him. We miss him very much. The last 18 months of his life were marred by such a horrible disease.”

A Bodleian Library spokesman declined to comment on the suggestion that asbestos fibres may have been present during the construction of the library extension, but described Dr Shaw as “a valued colleague and… a much-missed member of staff.”

Request asbestos awareness training from us

We can provide your business with a wealth of asbestos-related services here at Trident Asbestos Solutions, enabling you to better identify, manage and remove this potentially lethal and now banned construction material.

Draw upon our expertise in such areas as asbestos surveys, air monitoring and asbestos removal project management by calling us now, on 03333 441 555, for a competitive quotation.

Widnes widow searches for answers after asbestos-related loss

asbestos in ships

A 69-year old woman from Widnes is appealing for information after her husband died from mesothelioma – a form of cancer that affects the lining of several internal organs and is caused by exposure to asbestos.

Frank Holland worked an eight-year stint in the Merchant Navy, where he tended to work in the boiler and engine rooms of the ships. He worked on various ships during his time there, including The Araby, MV Herdsman, MV Nova Scotia, Roscoe and Esso Tankers.

After he left the Merchant Navy, Frank worked as an HGV driver, aside from a three-year spell at ICI’s Weston Point Salt Works in Runcorn in the 1970s.

He fell ill at 72 and was soon diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos fibres and can affect various vital organs including the lungs, stomach and heart. It has a very long latency period, which means it can remain undetected in the body for decades, as was the case with Mr Holland.

The overall survival rate for mesothelioma is extremely poor, but can vary depending on age, how early it is detected and where the cancer is located within the body.

Frank died two months after being diagnosed. His widow Jen is now appealing to his former colleagues for more information on where he could have become exposed to the asbestos fibres.

She stated that “in those days the pipes on ships were always lagged with asbestos, but no one thought anything of it then”.

Jen is working with Stacey White, an industrial disease specialist at law firm Slater and Gordon, to find out more information on the events that led up to his death. White stated that “although he was not aware of the dangers, unfortunately many employers at that time were and what we are keen to establish now is if more could have been done to protect him.”

Nowadays, more and more cases of asbestos-related diseases are coming to light. Fortunately, we are also much more aware of the dangers of asbestos and what can be done to remove it from working or living environments.

Trident Surveying offers a wide array of asbestos safety-related services, including asbestos air testing, asbestos surveying and on-line awareness training. For more information about how such services could benefit your organisation, please feel free to contact us.

Hitchin man suing county council for exposure to asbestos

Herts Council

 

A former teacher is taking legal action after contracting a disease caused by exposure to asbestos. Paul Crabtree taught religious education at Bessemer School in Hitchin for a decade, from 1972 until the school’s closure in 1988.

He worked in a post-war prefabricated classroom for most of his time there, where it transpires that asbestos was part of the building’s fabric. Mr Crabtree has since contracted mesothelioma – a cancer of the stomach lining and lungs that is primarily caused by asbestos. Mesothelioma offers little to no chance of survival and often takes several years or decades to become detectable.

Mr Crabtree stated: “The wisdom at the time was that if you left the asbestos alone it was all right – but I have been affected by it.” It has been found that asbestos is fairly harmless if left alone, but if it is disturbed in any way, the fibres and dust can be released into the air, thereby becoming deadly.

Asbestos was removed from the school from 1983 onwards, a period of time when the dangers of asbestos were starting to become clearer in the UK.

After leaving Bessemer School, Mr Crabtree went on to teach at Royston’s Roysia Middle School between 1989 and 2004, but unfortunately had to retire due to being diagnosed with multiple myeloma – a form of bone marrow cancer.

Paul is now teaming up with lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, one of the UK’s largest firms, to bring a civil court case against Hertfordshire County Council. A financial settlement is yet to be agreed, with talks between the two parties set to continue.

Due to the amount of time it takes for the majority of asbestos-related diseases to show, many stories concerning asbestos exposure many decades ago have only recently hit the news. If anything, such stories further highlight the need for asbestos removal; just because the use of it has been prohibited, doesn’t mean it isn’t still lurking around in some older buildings.

For more information on asbestos removal, asbestos surveying or other services regarding asbestos safety, don’t hesitate to contact Trident Surveying today.

St Albans woman died from multiple asbestos exposure

asbestos

 

The importance of correctly assessing, removing, and working with asbestos can’t be stressed enough. Here at Trident Surveying, we offer a range of services, including the ever-vital asbestos removal project management, to ensure that your home or workplace is 100% safe.

Sometimes, though, the problem is caught far too late. The majority of the time, this is because the horrific affects that asbestos can have often don’t show up until several years later, as was the case with 80-year old Joyce Hood of St Albans.

Ms Hood unfortunately succumbed to mesothelioma in September. A form of lung and stomach lining cancer, mesothelioma is nearly always caused by the breathing in of asbestos fibres, and is always fatal.

A testimony from Ms Hood’s son, Robert, said that she had once worked at a power station in Wales where asbestos was known to be present. He also mentioned the ceiling of the airing cupboard in the family’s home, which was made from crumbling asbestos.

Joyce chose to declare that she had not been exposed to asbestos at work, following an appeal for compensation. Ms Hood’s coroner, Mr Sullivan, then recorded that Joyce had passed due to non-work related asbestos exposure.

As well as inflicting horrific diseases upon those who inhale its fibres, even several decades later, asbestos can also have immediate life-altering affects. Just the other week, a mother and her son were evacuated from their home in Harlow, Essex, after asbestos was detected.

A test carried out by Harlow Council revealed that extremely high levels of asbestos were present in the home of Kara Hanrahan and her eight year old son, Toby.

The extent of the danger of the asbestos has meant that the family’s home has had to be entirely sealed off, with the family’s belongings, including Christmas presents, abandoned inside.

Ms  Hanrahan and her son are currently staying in temporary accommodation while the council carries out further tests to assess the extent to which asbestos fibres have been released.

Asbestos has claimed the life of yet another person, and has ruined another two people’s Christmas. Here at Trident Surveying, we think that incidents like this should never have to occur again. It is precisely because of this that we offer a wide range of services regarding asbestos, including project management on asbestos removal, asbestos air monitoring, re-inspections and asbestos surveys.

Ensure that your organisation’s workplace is safe by contacting our friendly team today about our full suite of asbestos related services.

 

Worcestershire County Council admits to asbestos on almost half of its sites

worcester council

 

Many organisations across the United Kingdom make the mistake of neglecting proper asbestos management for their properties due to a belief that asbestos is a problem that belongs to the past. The erroneous nature of such a claim has been demonstrated once again, with the admission that close to 700 council buildings in Worcestershire are contaminated with asbestos.

Worcestershire County Council has recently admitted that nearly half of its 1,500 properties contain the potentially fatal material, which can cause conditions such as mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer if its fibres are breathed in.

The Council admitted that properties such as schools, libraries and offices contained the deadly fibres, but said that even removal would be unsafe at this point, describing it as “not an option”.

Councillor Peter McDonald, Labour group leader at the county council, stated: “Asbestos is not a problem of the past, it’s a problem of the present. Six hundred and ninety-nine is a heck of a large figure, it should be a priority to remove asbestos from these buildings to reduce the number of people dying.”

Although the true dangers of asbestos have now been known for some time, it continues to kill thousands in the UK each year due to symptoms taking between 20 and 50 years to manifest themselves. The material was commonly used as pipe insulation right up to the 1980s, and doctors warn that the number of fatalities has not yet peaked.

 

Asbestos causes death of accomplished Derby musician

derby concert orchestra

It greatly saddened us recently here at Trident Surveying to read of another death from industrial disease that was ultimately attributable to asbestos exposure – that of founder member of the Derby Concert Orchestra, Roy Harrison. It is another reminder of just how crucial the right asbestos surveys and asbestos air testing services could be in modern workplaces for averting future tragedies.

Mr Harrison, who once performed in front of the Queen at Buckingham Palace and was part of the group for six decades, worked in the railway industry until he was in his 50s, prior to becoming a music teacher at Abbotsholme Boarding School, Rocester.

The talented orchestral player was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis – scarring of the lungs following asbestos exposure – six years ago. He died at London Road Community Hospital in early June at the age of 82. His widow, Joan, to whom he was married for 58 years, recently attended an inquest at Derby and South Derbyshire Coroners’ Court.

Mrs Harrison described her late husband as a “very well respected and accomplished musician” who had even been able to play with the industrial disease for three years, which she put down to his ability to breathe via his diaphragm. He finally slowed down once he became unable to play long notes.

Mr Harrison began working at Derby’s Locomotive Works in 1949 after leaving school, and it was while he worked as an apprentice fitter and millwright that he was first exposed to asbestos. He performed for the Queen after being called up for National Service in the mid-1950s, and worked in the railway industry until 1988, when he was made redundant and began to teach the flute.

Such was his high level of activity even after diagnosis, that he was helping to teach a group of 12 female musicians, the Champagne Flutes in Burton, right up to his death. Paul McCandless, Assistant Deputy Coroner, confirmed that Mr Harrison died due to an industrial disease.

 Talk to Trident Surveying today if you need to check for asbestos in any building in your workplace. We are among the UK’s leading asbestos surveyors and can respond quickly to all of your surveying and air monitoring requirements. We offer transparent, easy-to-digest reports and can provide you with impartial and accurate advice.

Trident Surveying is a fully-insured, indemnified service that covers the whole of the UK. We are passionate about saving lives and playing a pivotal role in the right against asbestos, so please contact us today if you wish to learn more about our service.

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