General Motors Fined £120,000.00 for Breaching Health and Safety Laws
General Motors UK Limited, based in Bedfordshire have pleaded guilty to a single breach of Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £120,000.00 and ordered to pay prosecution costs.
It transpired that there were no risk assessments undertaken by General Motors in relation to the asbestos on site and therefore, contractors were carrying out refurbishment work without the correct safety measures in place.
The HSE Investigation
The HSE investigation found that asbestos insulating boards were used on the external cladding area of the stores building. When the boards were discovered, the asbestos register was not fully available to the contractors to allow them to check whether the boards contained asbestos and therefore, no direct instruction was given by General Motors to stop the works to prevent the asbestos board being disturbed. This meant that the work, including removing and cutting holes in the board, continued without the necessary safety precautions in place.
Being exposed to asbestos in this way, particularly as the asbestos was broken, is extremely dangerous and can result in disease many years later.
It can take between 20-60 years for an asbestos disease to manifest itself in the lungs and therefore, the severity of this situation may not be realised until a later stage.
It really is shocking to think that this can go on in this day and age.
If you or any of your family members have been affected by asbestos exposure or diseases then please contact our specialist Asbestos Disease Solicitor, Stephanie Mort.