During May the HSE have been contacting retailers advising them of their legal responsibilities on asbestos to ensure workers, customers or any contractors are protected from exposure.

Steve Coldrick, HSE’s Asbestos programme Director said “ Around 4000 people die each year from past exposure to asbestos.  It may be present in any building built before the year 2000, and so it is essential that retailers are aware of the risk it still poses and their responsibilities in managing it”.

The fact sheet distributed by the HSE outlines:

  • Who has the duty to mange
  • What duty to manage means
  • Three essential steps to comply with the duty; and
  • Advice on asbestos surveys

In this last two weeks a very concerned contractor who was carrying out refurbishments in a major high street store contacted us.  He was asked to cut a hole in some boarding and was assured that no asbestos existed.  He was later contacted by the main site contractor and advised that the board did in fact contain asbestos but was asked not to report the matter.

We contacted the local HSE and Environmental Health who are now investigating.

If you have had a similar experience please contact us on Freephone 0800 294 3065 and we will provide you with free advice on what you should do to prevent this happening.