Hotel fined £39k over asbestos exposure
A SKEGNESS hotel has been fined £44,512 in fines and costs for exposing staff to asbestos.
The County Hotel in North Parade, Skegness was successfully prosecuted by East Lindsey District Council after a series of breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The owners of the hotel, UK Holiday Group Ltd, pleaded guilty to three separate breaches relating to exposure of employees to asbestos.
Since the offences came to light the hotel on Skegness Seafront, has carried out extensive work to remove large quantities of high-risk asbestos lagging from boiler tanks and pipe work in its basement.
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The council’s health and safety inspector, Rod MacKenzie, said: “Asbestos can pose significant danger to health. Asbestos-related disease kills far more people in the UK than are killed on our roads.
“All businesses have an obligation to know whether their premises contain asbestos and to take appropriate steps to remove or contain any that is identified.
“The simple fact in this case is that because of the hotel’s failure, workers have been put at risk, and face an uncertain future. I would urge all business proprietors to make sure they are not exposing staff, customers or themselves to such a potentially dangerous material.”
On Thursday, October 17 Skegness Magistrates imposed fines totalling £39,000 on the hotel’s owners and awarded costs totalling £5,392 to ELDC.
A spokesman for the authority said they were alerted to asbestos at the premises following concerns raised by a member of staff at the hotel.
Prosecution was then considered due to the significant quantity, type of material (high risk lagging), length of time present (decades), exposure of staff and lack of management/safety controls.
It is thought at least two members of staff had significant exposure to the asbestos while working at the premises.
A hotel spokesman said: “We took immediate action to rectify the problem once it came to our notice prior to the involvement of ELDC.
“We have cooperated fully with the council and those responsible are either no longer working for te company or have been disciplined.
“The problem solely related to a limited area in the basement of the property to which the public never had access and the hotel stayed open throughout the investigation with the approval of the council.”