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.  

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.

Bloomsbury Theatre closes over asbestos find

Bloomsbury Theatre

One of London’s most iconic venues, the Bloomsbury Theatre, has been forced to close early for large-scale construction work after asbestos was found in the building.

The theatre was supposed to close in January 2016 for six months next year, prior to minor building works disturbing asbestos in the building. This led to management deciding to close the venue early so it can still reopen by next summer – another story that has highlighted the continued importance of asbestos surveying and asbestos air testing.

Staff members are now collaborating with production companies to find venues for shows that were due to take place at the venue before January. These include Gangsta Granny (an adaptation of David Walliams’ children’s book) and a fundraising event for the Arts Emergency charity.

University College London, the theatre’s owners, said that the decision was essential for safety purposes. The institution said the works would now “take longer than anticipated”, adding that “we apologise for the inconvenience caused”. However, the recently opened Studio part of the building is to remain open while the main auditorium is out of use.

The theatre, on Gordon Street in the Borough of Camden is famed for hosting high-profile drama, music, comedy and dance productions. It first opened in 1968, when it was called the Collegiate Theatre and was renamed the Bloomsbury Theatre in 1982. It was known as The UCL Bloomsbury for seven years in the 2000s. Ricky Gervais is among its most famous alumnus.

Talk to Trident Surveying today if you suspect that a building that you manage may contain asbestos. We offer stringent tests and put health and safety at the forefront of everything we do. We travel across the whole of the UK to conduct asbestos testing and have more than 25 years’ experience to draw upon.

Trident Surveying is synonymous with rapid responses, high quality advice and exceptional customer feedback. As an independent service, we are tied to no particular asbestos removal company and pride ourselves on our impartiality. We are available 365 days a year, so why not get in touch with us today to learn more about our asbestos testing services and detailed reports?

‘Reckless’ asbestos failures attracts fines for Hospitals Trust

 

Asbestos in hospitals

Asbestos in hospitals

A fresh signifier of the key role that asbestos surveys can play is the news that the NHS Trust responsible for three West Hertfordshire is to be fined due to its failure to protect its staff from the risk of exposure to the dangerous substance.

The West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust – which runs Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead – reported itself to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after concerns were raised by a new member of staff about asbestos in one of its buildings.

This was followed by a full survey and the Trust eventually pleading guilty to five charges of breaching health and safety regulations over a period of more than a decade. At a recent St Albans Crown Court hearing, it was revealed that 47 estate staff who had carried out maintenance work at the hospitals had been contacted about the breaches.

Prosecutor Adam Payter said that while no condition had been contracted by any of these workers, they were at “real risk” of contracting a disease in the future. Diseases that can be contracted due to asbestos exposure at work include both the chronic lung condition asbestosis and the rare cancer mesothelioma.

The Trust admitted at an earlier hearing before magistrates that it had failed to ensure the health, safety and welfare of staff exposed to asbestos between April 1, 2000 and December 6, 2011. Between November 12, 2006 and December 6, 2011, it also pleaded guilty to a failure to keep a written plan, take measures for managing the risk from asbestos and give adequate information, instruction and training to employees likely to be exposed to the fibres.

Nor, the Trust admitted, had it taken the necessary measures to reduce its employees’ asbestos exposure to the lowest reasonably practicable level.

Mr Payter, representing HSE, described sometimes “reckless” behaviour by the Trust as an aggravating factor in the case.

He commented: “It was aware of the risk, but failed to take appropriate action.

“There was considerable potential for harm to workers, there were continuing breaches rather than an isolated lapse, the defendant was aware of the risks, but ignored them. It was a continued breach and fell far below the standard required.

“However, defending QC Colin McCaul said that the Trust had been “candid with itself, the Health and Safety Executive, the court and the public”, adding that it now had a “robust, comprehensive and easily comprehensible” system in place. Sentencing by Judge Stephen Gullick is set to take place next week, in a case that simply serves of a further reminder of the value of the most appropriate and compliant asbestos surveys. Contact Trident Surveying now to learn more about our own asbestos management surveys that keep pace with the ever-changing and detailed HSE requirements.

Contractor fined for exposing workers to Asbestos

A Decorating and Refurbishment contractor has been fined for exposing employees, agency staff and members of the public to asbestos.In 2009 a refurbishment project was undertaken over several weeks at Sentinel House, Nuffield Industrial, Poole by MJC Decorating and Refurbishing Ltd.During the project the contractor began removing ceilings at the two story block without carrying out a suitable asbestos survey in advance to determine whether asbestos was present. The appropriate survey prior to any works being carried out would have been the asbestos Refurbishment Survey.When visiting the site the HSE Inspector found widespread asbestos contamination both inside and outside the building. Investigations also revealed that some of the other material that had been removed from the site may have been asbestos containing but may have been treat as non hazardous material.As a result of the contractors actions four employees and fourteen agency staff working under the control of the contractor had been exposed to the dangerous asbestos fibres.It took over two weeks for the MJC Contractors to remove the asbestos insulation board (AIB) ceiling. During this period the contractors were only wearing normal clothing and face masks if worn at all.MJC Decorating and Refurbishing Ltd, of London Road, North Cheam, Sutton, Surrey, pleaded guilty to three breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations. It was fined a total of £45,000 and ordered to pay £36,943 in costs.Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector, Helena Tinton, said:”This was a very serious incident which carries severe risks for people’s health.”MJC’s safety failings led to the needless exposure to dangerous asbestos fibres of its employees, agency staff and the wider public. The firm didn’t carry out a suitable survey for asbestos material before the work started and failed to provide protection for workers on site.”Regulations on dealing safely with asbestos have been in place for many years and are widely known in the industry.”This totally needless incident would not have happened if MJC had carried out proper assessments.”This once again highlights the importance of following the correct procedures and ensuring that an asbestos survey has been carried out to locate any possible asbestos containing materials. After all it is the law.asbestos dust, asbestos exposure, asbestos surveys

Government U Turn on Asbestos

Asbestos BirminghamYet another government U-turn which this time will see victims of asbestos exposure and their families denied access to vital compensation.It was expected that the latest Queens Speech would include a Mesothelioma Bill which would provide payouts to sufferers who were – as in many cases unable to trace the employer who may have exposed them to the deadly asbestos fibres.Although there will be a fund, the £335m in it fell far short from what was promised.Previously a fund for a £400m was suggested – mainly funded by insurers – put forward by Labour, but progress ground to a halt after the Coalition came to power.So what does this mean now?Only victims of mesothelioma will be helped – not people dead, or dying, from other asbestos-related conditions.Because of a complicated banding system payouts will only be 70% of the average compensation levels for asbestos.A huge number of older cases will be denied help due to the fact that only those diagnosed after July 2012 will receive payouts.Under the original plan, payouts were promised for all those with fatal asbestos- related conditions with no insurer – not simply mesothelioma cases.Steve Murphy, general secretary of UCATT, said: “Deaths from asbestos are entirely preventable. For decades, Governments and employers knew the risks but chose to do nothing. “It is disgraceful that even now they are trying wherever possible to deny workers compensation.”UCATT seized on the revelation that major insurers met Lord Freud, the welfare minister, no fewer than 14 times to discuss the Bill, over two years.Mr Murphy added: “This watered down scheme demonstrates that the Conservatives are in the pocket of the insurance industry.”Asbestos was used in shipbuilding, construction and the automotive industry, exposing workers. Carpenters, joiners, plumbers and heating engineers are at particular risk.

Man caught dumping asbestos

asbestos surveys birminghamA fly tipper has been ordered to pay thousands of pounds to clean up his mess after being caught dumping waste. Some of this waist contained asbestos containing materials (ACM’s).Kevin Goodenough admitted dumping waste three times in the gardens of a council-owned property in Bellfield in Titchfield.The waste found in the front and rear gardens of the property included cement roofing sheets containing asbestos, bitumen roofing felt and other building materials. Bitumen roofing felt has also contained asbestos in the past and unless sampled should have also been treat as asbestos wasteFareham Magistrates Court sentenced 58-year-old Goodenough, of Hawkhurst Close in Southampton, to 225 hours of unpaid work.He will also have to pay Fareham Borough Council’s £1,000 legal costs and a further £5,000 to the council to clean up the rubbish, under the Environmental Protection Act.Deputy leader of the council, Cllr Trevor Cartwright said: ‘This is a great result for the council and sends out a strong message that fly-tipping won’t be tolerated in Fareham.‘Fareham Borough Council takes a zero tolerance approach in respect of fly tipping. Action will be taken for anyone caught fly tipping.

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