An asbestos-riddled Indian Restaurant in Cleeve has been fined £15,500 following an inspection by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Amar Ullah, whose wife is the owner of the now-closed Indian restaurant and take away, Bombay Palace on Main Road, in Cleeve, was fined for spreading asbestos throughout the property.
Whilst refurbishing the site, HSE inspectors visited due to a concern that asbestos had been spread when roof insulation was disturbed, finding the contaminated boards propped against the outside of the building frayed with asbestos fibres – later confirmed by lab analysis.
Mr Ullah was served with a Notice, stating that he was prohibited from handling the asbestos-contaminated boards. On return to the site, the inspectors found that he had removed the boards himself, incorrectly disposing of them at a British City Council recycling centre.
Mr Ullah pleaded guilty and was found guilty of failing to reduce the exposure of asbestos to his co-workers and members of the public. A further charge was given for breaching the Notice issued by the Health Executive.
His defence was given as a “naivety and a clear lack of understanding in regard to that area of the law,” but if this is true it still speaks of an overwhelming need for an increase in awareness of the effects of exposure to asbestos.
The use of asbestos was banned in the UK upon discovery of its carcinogenic properties, and no longer used from 1999. Exposure to asbestos dust can lead to lung diseases such as Mesothelioma. The removal of asbestos from a property should strictly be carried out by specialists. If undertaking refurbishments like Mr Ullah, and you suspect your premises might contain asbestos if built before 1999, it is essential that you do not disturb the asbestos. Instead, you should immediately arrange for professionals to conduct a survey of the property and the correct, safe removal of any asbestos.
Personal Injury Lawyer, Julian Cason, said, “There will be many other Mr Ullah’s out here that we don’t even hear about. It is a sad testament of our times that there is still such apparent ignorance about the dangers of asbestos, and the way in which it will be a potential hazard for years to come.”
For a quick guide to the dangers of asbestos, read our 7 FAQs on asbestos here.
Julian Cason is a Personal Injury Lawyer at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Cardiff.
If you or a family has suffered from an Asbestos-related cancer or disease call the expert Personal Injury Solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers on 0800 844 0275 or contact us online.