The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust must pay more than $14,600 (in U.S. currency) for potentially exposing workers to asbestos at a city hospital.
This is yet another story that reinforces the need for proper asbestos management on both sides of the Atlantic. According to the Belfast Telegraph, the fine came after authorities performed a formal investigation. This was launched after construction workers in a Belfast city hospital became worried after repairing a storeroom ceiling. Government investigators confirmed that the ceiling was made of asbestos insulation board. This material was commonly used in construction until 1999, (when its use was prohibited).
While surveys had previously confirmed asbestos’ presence, the workers weren’t aware of it. Also, the appropriate staff members weren’t trained in managing asbestos.
“There is no such thing as a safe level of asbestos and cases like this should serve to remind tradesmen and those involved in maintenance activities that asbestos remains a significant danger to health, said the inspector for the government.
The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust oversees the local health system and the city hospital. A spokeswoman of the trust said: “Like many organizations, we have to actively manage the asbestos that was used in the construction of older buildings. We have considerable expertise in this and it is unfortunate that on this occasion our arrangements broke down.
According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, there is no known safe level of asbestos exposure, and even small exposures are potentially dangerous. Additionally, the latency period of some of the asbestos cancers (including mesothelioma) can be 40 years’ long.
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and developed an asbestos cancer such as malignant mesothelioma as a result, you may be eligible for financial compensation. An asbestos lawsuit can provide you and your family with funds for medical bills and other necessities. Call Sokolove Law today for a free case evaluation.