Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust has been fined after refurbishment work undertaken in an accommodation block at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital exposed Trust employees and contractors to asbestos. Telford Magistrates’ Court heard how in June 2012 Trust employees were removing fixtures and fittings from the empty flat when they disturbed asbestos containing materials (ACMs). The Trust then failed to take adequate measures to deal with the initial release of asbestos, exposing other contractors who later worked in the flat.
An investigation by the HSE found that the Trust did not properly record ACM on their estate. The Trust had arrangements in place to manage asbestos, however, the overall management plan for dealing with asbestos was not recorded in a clear and concise manner or effectively communicated to its employees and contractors working on site.
The Trust had insufficient auditing procedures to ensure that the arrangements contained in the policy and management plan were fully implemented, working properly and effective. The procedures in place upon the discovery of asbestos were inadequate and the Trust failed to prevent re-entry into the contaminated area by other workers.
Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust of Mytton Oak Rd, Shrewsbury pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and fined £16,000 and ordered to pay costs of £18,385.80.
This prosecution should act as a reminder, not just to Hospitals but to anyone in control of the repair and maintenance of non-domestic premises, of the need to ensure that correct control measures are put in place to ensure that exposure to asbestos is prevented, so far as is reasonably practicable.