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Companies prosecuted after asbestos exposure

A Cheltenham contractor and a retailer have been prosecuted after a construction worker was exposed to asbestos during a refurbishment project.

In a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Cheltenham Magistrates' Court heard that the contractor failed to ensure a proper asbestos survey was available before work began. As a result, workers on site removed up to 85m of asbestos insulating board over two days without the necessary controls or adequate protection.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Simon Chilcott, said:

"The risks of asbestos are well known in the construction industry as are the controls required in dealing with it. Exposure to asbestos can have fatal or serious long term health consequences and, as such, every precaution must be taken to minimise any risks when working on buildings."

Asbestos-related illnesses are responsible for around 4,000 deaths every year.

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