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Workers to launch industrial disease claims?

Workers to launch industrial disease claims?

Industrial disease claims could be lodged against an industrial property owner who exposed two workers to asbestos.

Nasimul Karbani employed two men to help him with the task of clearing rubbish from a building he part-owned in Newport, South Wales, but this debris contained a large volume of asbestos insulation board.

This material was then not cleaned up in a safe manner and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was notified by Newport City Council due to concerns regarding how safe this work was.

As a result, the watchdog carried out an investigation into the job and established that Mr Karbani did not have a licence to handle asbestos on the site, while he also failed to manage the risks associated with the task to the workers he employed.

In addition, the men were not properly equipped or trained to conduct such a potentially dangerous job and were also not decontaminated following the project's completion.

A subsequent case heard at Abergavenny Magistrates' Court established that Mr Karbani was negligent because he allowed this work to continue despite the fact he knew asbestos was present in the building and had been warned on two occasions that the task should not be carried out.

Furthermore, the professional did not appoint a competent co-contractor to manage the clean-up operation after the work, meaning asbestos fibres were likely to be left on the premises.

"No-one involved in the management of the project had the skills, training or experience to address health and safety issues, including the risk of asbestos exposure," the HSE noted.

Mr Karbani admitted breaking the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and was fined £3,000 for this breach.

Steve Richardson, HSE inspector, observed: "Any work that involves asbestos must be planned and managed by competent personnel with the right training and experience. In this case, Mr Karbani demonstrated significant failings throughout the management of the project, which put the lives of other workers at risk."

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Posted by Francesca Witney