14 October 2015
Asbestos at Earls Court
A HSE investigation has revealed “no issues” of concern regarding the safe handling and removal of asbestos in Earls Court. But was there need for concern? With asbestos, most definitely.
Concerns over asbestos have plagued renovations of Earls Court in London. Earls Court developer, Capital & Counties (Capco), have been responsible for the safe handling and removal of the asbestos, yet prior to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) investigation, locals have raised questions as to the public’s safety.
Labour’s Nicky Gavron, Liberal Democrat, Stephen Knight, and Darren Johnson from the Green Party wrote a letter to the HSE regarding concerns over the handling of the asbestos, stating the HSE and Capco have “neither published nor given access to the Asbestos Survey and Risk Register to local residents”.
A spokesperson from the HSE stated that a full investigation has taken place and there were “no issues” with the teams and their “suitable plans of work.”
Capco have not commented on the investigation as yet, but have said demolition contractor, Keltbray, was working “in accordance with the highest safety standards and in line with the plans agreed by all the relevant public authorities.”
The Dangers of Asbestos
The Chest and Asbestos Disease Team at Slater and Gordon have helped many people who have tragically been exposed to asbestos. What is even more tragic are the number of victims of asbestos-related diseases who were unaware of the dangers of exposure to asbestos. Diagnoses of Mesothelioma is often made decades after the initial exposure, meaning that many victims may go their whole life without realising the effects until it’s too late.
This is the reason for concern at the slightest possibility of exposure to asbestos.
Since the 1950s, there were over 3,500 different products containing asbestos being manufactured until its ban in 1999. From floor tiles to insulation, asbestos was used in commercial buildings and houses. If a building was built pre-1999 there is a chance that it contains asbestos. If asbestos is disturbed, exposure to the dust can be fatal, with the effects of asbestos difficult for doctors to detect for a minimum of 10 years following exposure. Because of this, specialist disposal of asbestos is required by regulated professionals.
Where there are concerns about asbestos, whether at home or in a large public building, a call to action is essential in protecting people from exposure to its highly dangerous properties. It is not only those occupying the same room or airspace that are at risk, but due to the easily-transported dust and fibres, asbestos could affect people on a much wider scale.
The effects of asbestos exposure can have a devastating effect for both the victim and their families. It is quite appalling that large organizations such as Capco fail to take proper precautions for the health and safety of local residents.
Slater and Gordon Asbestos Lawyers can pursue compensation claims for people that have been exposed to asbestos in a public place.
Edmund Young is a Principal Lawyer at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.
If you think you may have been exposed to asbestos at work call the expert Personal Injury Solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers on 0800 844 0275 or contact us online.