07 November 2007
Kent firm prosecuted for health and safety breaches
Bromley-based construction firm Galamast has been prosecuted for breaches in health and safety after it exposed people to asbestos, Workplace Law Network reports.
The incident occurred in March 2006 when the firm was conducting a "stripout" of a former Littlewoods shop in the Harpur Centre, Bedford.
Reportedly, verbal instructions concerning safety were misunderstood and, as a result, employees of the firm, along with health and safety inspectors and sub contractors, were exposed to the hazardous substance.
At the time, Galamast had been conducting work on behalf of the international clothing retailer Primark, which had taken over the Littlewoods store.
The company was fined £20,000 and charged £16,140 in costs at Bedford Magistrates Court for the offence.
The inhalation of asbestos is associated with a number of diseases, including lung cancer, diffuse pleural thickening and mesothelioma. It is the greatest single cause of work-related fatalities in Britain.