St. George's Healthcare of Wandsworth 'repeatedly made aware' of problem and dangers

A NHS Trust has been fined £5,000 after failing to manage asbestos fibre in the building.

An HSE investigation found St. George’s Healthcare NHS Trust in Tooting, Wandsworth, repeatedly made aware of asbestos fibre in The Groves residential block but did not control the risk of exposure.

Materials containing asbestos were regularly damaged by workmen and cleaned up or repaired by Trust employees.
The Trust pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 and was ordered to pay costs of £6,432.

The magistrate said: "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.”

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is now warning employers to ensure they take proper precautions over the management of asbestos in their buildings.

Hazel McCallum, HSE Inspector, said: "It is disappointing when large organisations 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".