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Newnham College has been fined for failings that exposed employees and subcontractors to asbestos during refurbishment of a flat owned by the college. Cambridge Magistrates’ Court heard that in March 2018, employees of Newnham College and subcontractors were carrying out a refurbishment of a flat on Grange Road, Cambridge when asbestos insulation debris was discovered in the floor voids after work had been carried out in them…

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SARAH LEAKE

This prosecution highlights the importance of a Refurbishment & Demolition (R&D) Asbestos survey. An R&D must be undertaken prior to any intrusive work being carried out on buildings built before 2000 as Asbestos can be concealed within the fabric of the building or sealed voids, or it may have been used in a random or adhoc manner. As such they may only be revealed during refurbishment or demolition of those areas. An R&D survey involves destructive inspection of areas in order to find any hidden asbestos so that arrangements can be made for its removal before the work commences. It also emphasises the importance of ensuring that those who are likely to work in areas where asbestos could be present receive asbestos awareness training so that they are able to stop work if they encounter any suspect looking materials.

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Property owner Michael Cutmore and building contractors B and S BM Limited have both been sentenced after a refurbishment project of an old hotel was found to contain asbestos containing materials (ACMs) on site while work was still taking place…

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SARAH LEAKE

If asbestos is known to be present in a building, if refurbishment / demolition is to be undertaken it is important to identify if the areas where asbestos was identified is to be disturbed during the building work. If yes then controls must be taken to safely remove the asbestos so that it is not damaged during the refurbishment / demolition. Some work on asbestos must be undertaken by a licensed contractor, therefore it is important that advice given in the R&D survey is followed to ensure that asbestos is removed safely by the right person following correct procedures.

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A trouble-hit Abingdon gin bar may never reopen following the discovery of asbestos in the basement. The Old Chemist opened at Easter in High Street on the site of the former Smith’s chemists. But during work to install a rest room in the basement a potentially dangerous type of asbestos was found and the building has now been shut down, according to the owners…

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SARAH LEAKE

Refurbishment works that involve disturbing the fabric of the building will require a Refurbishment or Demolition (R&D) survey to be undertaken. In this case an R&D survey should have been undertaken prior to the work commencing, highlighting the importance that even if only minor refurbishment is being undertaken, if the work involves any intrusive work such as drilling into or knocking into walls or going into sealed voids, the area in question should be inspected for asbestos before the contractors start work.

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A former engineer from Gloucester has been diagnosed with the asbestos related cancer Mesothelioma, and believes workplaces in the city could be to blame. Michael Griffin, 68, visited his GP late in 2017 with a persistent cough and breathlessness, further to which a scan revealed a build-up of fluid on his lungs. On July 31, 2018, he was given the devastating diagnosis of Mesothelioma…

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SARAH LEAKE

This case is unfortunately not unique. Asbestos related illnesses usually have a latency period between 10-50 years. Prior to the Control of Asbestos Regulations and the tightening of controls, many workers, in particular those in the maintenance trades were exposed to asbestos fibres without be aware of the dangers to health. That is why in the present day adequate information, instruction and training must be given to employees who are, or who are liable to be, exposed to asbestos. Where there are employees who are liable to disturb asbestos during their normal everyday work, such training shall include general awareness of the hazards and risks associated with exposure to asbestos. Employees engaged in normal working activities at the premises, who are unlikely to disturb asbestos, will not require formal asbestos awareness training but should be informed of the presence and location of asbestos materials and the asbestos procedures in place.