NHS Trust broke asbestos laws for a decade

Another recent case at St Albans Crown Court saw West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust fined because their employees may have been exposed to asbestos from 2000 to 2011. This potential exposure concerned maintenance work at Watford General Hospital, Hemel Hempstead Hospital and St Albans Hospital. Although the Trust did know about some of the asbestos, they had no management plan in place and the estates department team had carried out work that may have released fibres.

This came to light after a survey in December 2011 showed that more asbestos was present than initially identified, and none of it was being managed. The Trust notified HSE and put measures in place to address the deficiencies. The eleven-year delay in adopting the correct procedures was seen as likely to cause anxiety to workers, some of whom may have been exposed. The fine and costs of around £90,000 were to reflect the seriousness of the failings.

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