21 October 2015
Christie Hospital Staff Exposed to Asbestos
A new report has revealed maintenance staff in The Christie hospital in Manchester may have been exposed to airborne asbestos, according to an independent review.
The review, carried out by Asbestos Contracting Limited, was commissioned by The Christie, a specialist cancer hospital and charity, serving an immediate population of 3.2 million people in the Greater Manchester and Cheshire area.
You may assume that a public building – especially a hospital responsible for the treatment and wellbeing of many people – would be the last place you would expect a risk of exposure to asbestos, but this, sadly, is not the case.
Recently there have been several cases of asbestos in hospitals in the news. Because of the highly dangerous nature of asbestos, its presence in hospitals is rightly treated as an emergency for the health and safety of patients, staff and visitors. Earlier in October operations were cancelled due to asbestos in a Welsh hospital along with reports of workers sent for medical tests due to asbestos at St Pancras hospital.
A spokesperson from The Christie hospital stated, “historically (it) may not have met the required health and safety standards” but said that there was “no evidence” that patients, staff and visitors to the hospital were at risk and "no reason to believe that anyone has been harmed by our historic management of asbestos in non-patient areas such as plant rooms and other maintenance areas".
The independent review, completed in August, revealed that The Christie failed to comply with Control of Asbestos Regulations, with insufficient procedures to manage asbestos, with inaccurate and rarely used asbestos registers.
Union, Unite, have claimed approximately 20 workers have been exposed to asbestos.
The Chest and Asbestos Disease team at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester have seen several cases and had more enquiries where there has been exposure to asbestos in hospitals. It’s an on-going problem just as it is in schools and we would prefer to see a commitment to remove it, rather than to simply monitor it.
If, at times, the number of public places affected by asbestos sounds like a war, then it is one that could see fewer casualties with an increase in awareness.
If you think that you have been exposed to asbestos in a hospital or public place, Slater and Gordon keep an asbestos register for those who have been exposed to asbestos.
Slater and Gordon Asbestos Lawyers can pursue compensation claims for people that have been exposed to asbestos at work.
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.
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