The UK ‘s Health and Safety Executive has been clamping down on companies that do not strictly adhere to asbestos control in the workplace regulations. The agency recently prosecuted a London health authority trust for breach of regulations. St George’s Healthcare Trust in Wandsworth was fined five thousand pounds (ten thousand dollars) and had to pay costs of over six thousand pounds (around twelve thousand dollars).

The agency is now warning other employers to make sure that they take proper steps in terms of management of asbestos in their buildings in compliance with the Control of Asbestos at Work regulations. The prosecuted healthcare trust was found to have a range of asbestos materials present, many of which were regularly damaged by workers, and no steps were taken to reduce the risk of exposure.

One HSE official stated: “It is disappointing when large organization s such as the Trust put people at risk by not taking a responsible approach. The risks associated with exposure to airborne asbestos fibres are well known and the measures required to control it are easily achievable”. The magistrate dealing with the case added: “…this was a serious offence. There was a lack of communication and a lack of action by the defendant. However, credit was given for the early guilty plea and this was the reason for not committing the case to the Crown Court”

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