Family of ex-adult training centre worker seek answers relating to mesothelioma death

mesothelioma

With more cases of mesothelioma being brought to light than ever, the need for effective asbestos management and asbestos removal to help minimise the number of future cases is ever-growing.

A Lancashire family was left devastated after mesothelioma claimed the life of Jennifer Ashworth – a former adult training centre worker who died aged just 69.

Jennifer was diagnosed with the disease in October 2014, dying just four months later.

More about mesothelioma – the often-silent killer

 A form of cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs (and sometimes stomach), mesothelioma has a harrowingly low survival rate.

Mesothelioma differs from most other common types of cancer in that it can take decades for its symptoms to make themselves known to the sufferer. Unfortunately, by then, the cancer is in an advanced stage, often meaning that little can be done bar maintaining a fair quality of life for as long as possible.

In most cases – as with Jennifer’s – it means that sufferers only have a very short period of time before diagnosis and death.

Now, an appeal is being launched by Jennifer’s family – who are working closely with Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office – to investigate the circumstances in which she was exposed to the deadly material.

Information sought about adult training centre building 

 Jennifer worked at Lancashire County Council’s Springbank Adult Training Centre between 1968 and 2006 – almost 40 years – which led her and her family to believe that she was exposed to asbestos while working at the premises.

The building has since been demolished, leaving very little information behind to help Jennifer’s family in their search for information.

One detail that Jennifer did remember, however, is that the centre closed for a short period in the 1980s so that asbestos could be removed.

A family left devastated

 Jennifer’s brother, Simon, is now working alongside their extended family to contact anyone who worked at the Springbank centre during the same period as Jennifer, or anyone who worked there while asbestos was still present in the building.

He said: “The impact the mesothelioma diagnosis had on Jennifer was absolutely terrible to see and it was awful for us all to see her in so much pain… although we know nothing will bring her back, we are determined to understand how she came into contact with the substance and if more could have been done by her former employers to protect her.”

Get in touch with Trident Asbestos Solutions today to learn more about our broad range of asbestos-related services, also including the likes of asbestos surveys, air monitoring, asbestos removal project management.

Vacating Buckingham Palace and Houses of Parliament deemed necessary for asbestos removal

BXEK9B Buckingham Palace, London, UK

Two of the UK’s most recognisable and crucial buildings, Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Westminster, could each be temporarily vacated by their current occupants – and this is largely due to asbestos. Both buildings are said to include problematic amounts of the potentially fatal dust, with brief closures seemingly required for measures that may include asbestos air testing.

It has been reported that the famous residence of Her Majesty the Queen requires maintenance work that would cost £150m and could see the Queen moving out, presumably to another of her royal residences like Windsor Castle. According to the BBC, sources cite the necessary removal of “significant amounts of asbestos” in what has been the primary seat of the British monarch since 1837.

The Palace of Westminster has also been put to its current purpose since the Victorian period and is similarly showing its age, its walls having become filled with asbestos. However, this is just one of many signs of the building’s significant disrepair, which also include rust and crumbling walls.

A report drawn up by consultants for the British government has suggested several possible solutions, but even the least time-consuming option would see the building completely quit by both MPs and Lords before its closure for at least two years. All of the renovation work here would cost at least £3.5bn.

Despite the obvious inconvenience of the loss of use of two of the most important buildings to the running of the country, the threat of unaddressed asbestos must not be underestimated. Removal of the lethal substance would ensure that members of the royal household and politicians would be able to continue their routine business in the respective buildings without putting their health at risk.

Procedures, including reliable asbestos air testing like that on offer from Trident Surveying, would also minimise health dangers to the public who visit these structures. We offer a UKAS accredited asbestos consultancy that your company or organisation can use to fully determine whether or not materials in your premises are contaminated with the fibres known as asbestos.

Contact us now about asbestos awareness training and asbestos air testing services that will help you to meet your legal and moral obligations as a business owner.

Family of late asbestos victim appeals for information

asbestos management

 

Comprehensive asbestos surveys in Birmingham may now thankfully be widespread practice, but that has sadly come too late for many of those to come into contact with the lethal substance. One such person was West Bromwich father-of-four Gary Williams, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in October 2012, before dying in July 2013.

Although mesothelioma – a cancer in the lining of the lungs – is strongly associated with exposure to the deadly dust, his family is still unsure exactly how that occurred, leading his daughter, Claire, to appeal for information from her father’s one-time colleagues at Rugeley Power Station, where he previously worked as a scaffolder.

It was initially the 66-year old himself who instructed Irwin Mitchell’s specialist industrial disease solicitors to investigate whether every possible measure was taken to avoid him coming into contact with asbestos – a fight for justice that Claire has continued on his behalf. She and Irwin Mitchell are requesting that Gary’s former co-workers at the British Building and Engineering Association (BB and EA) between 1965 and 1971 get in touch with them.

Not only is it thought that these workers could possess invaluable evidence concerning the substance’s presence at the various sites where Gary was contracted to work, but they may also be able to provide insight into the company’s working conditions. Gary was handed his devastating diagnosis of terminal disease at a time when the family was still struggling to come to terms with his wife Betty’s sudden death in summer 2012.

HSE reassures public on asbestos removal in Hounslow

HSE reassures public that asbestos was removed from Hounslow demolition site

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If there is one recent story that will surely remind organisations across the UK of the importance of having demolition surveys of doomed structures carried out prior to destruction work beginning, it has to be that concerning the Hounslow House site in the English capital’s London Road.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has reassured residents living near the building – which is being demolished for Tesco in readiness for the construction of 267 homes – that asbestos had already been removed from the site before work began. Fears had been raised with the collapse of an office block on the site in July, householders expressing concerns that the highly toxic substance could be present in the dust covering their balconies and windowsills.

However, HSE told getwestlondon that “Asbestos present was removed under license prior to demolition commencing and was completed last year.”

The office block’s partial collapse last year had resulted in rubble crashing into the nearby Hounslow bus garage, and prompted HSE to momentarily halt destruction at the site. A few weeks ago, work was allowed to resume, following the implementation of more stringent safety measures by the company responsible. The cause of the collapse is still under investigation by HSE.

However, residents remain unconvinced by the new safety measures, with Aces Court resident Bernard Zieja claiming that the amount of dust made people reluctant to open their windows or use their balconies.

Describing the present dust protection measures as “inadequate”, the photographer added: “I think we should be separated from the demolition site by a tall scaffolding covered by protective curtains. I have seen this done in central London and I wonder why this is not being done here in Hounslow.”

An HSE spokeswoman said that dust complaints were a matter for Hounslow Council, which has previously warned the company carrying out the demolition work about undertaking noisy work outside permitted hours.

Contact Trident Surveying about professional demolition surveys. Formerly known as Type 3 surveys, these surveys are required before all or part of a building is demolished, and our company has extensive experience of carrying them out to the very highest standards.

Importance of Asbestos Surveys

Asbestos was once hailed as the miracle building material but it soon became clear that prolonged exposure caused severe illness and death. This material was still being used in the 1970’s but the substance was finally banned in 1999. Asbestos might not always be dangerous straight away, but if any fibres are present, these can become airborne which can then prove a severe health risk to those in contact with the asbestos. It’s vital that asbestos surveys are carried out when dealing with buildings that were constructed or had maintenance performed between 1950 and 1999.Asbestos can be found in some of the following places such as ceiling tiles, stud walls and partitions, water tanks and toilet cisterns. There are several types of asbestos surveys, recently known as Type 1, Type 2, Type 3 until 2010, but for ease of identification these are known as the following; Management Survey, Demolition Survey and Refurbishment Survey.A Management Asbestos Survey is when a none domestic property is surveyed to identify the presence of asbestos within areas that are easily accessible and then evaluate the condition of the asbestos. After asbestos is found a management plan is needed when any asbestos is found and this plan should be kept up to date.A demolition/refurbishment survey is done when a property is due to undergo some sort of work, and asbestos may need to be identified within the work area. This survey could involve taking a small sample from a small area to larger areas being disturbed. All occupants will have to leave the building whilst the demolition/refurbishment survey is taking place, this is basic safety measures to ensure that no one comes into contact with the samples or potentially harmful asbestos.As legislation is ever changing when dealing with asbestos (all in favour of protecting people from its exposure as much as possible) changes are often made to the current legislation, such as in the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and Regulation Duty 4 to Manage. Under the new ‘Duty to Manage’ regulations there is a greater responsibility for building owners, agents and landlords to identify and manage the risk of materials containing asbestos in their premises. It is the duty holder’s responsibility to do some of the following:

  • Identify asbestos containing materials (ACMs), and then assess the risk of the ACM.
  • Write a plan with details on how to manage the risk of exposure to asbestos
  • Follow through with the plan, and then review and monitor the cooperation of the plan.
  • Inform the relevant people (tenants, working staff etc) of the location and the condition of the AMC.

There are some changes to the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, but on the whole changes have remained limited. Some changes include such as some non licensed work must be notified to the relevant enforcing authority.Trident Surveying can provide several quotes to suit your budget needs if you need an asbestos survey, just drop us an email or give us a call to find out more about what we can offer you.

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

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