At a recent court hearing, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust admitted breaching health and safety rules and failing to ensure the safety of its staff and other persons.
The facts of this particular case have not been released to the public, but it is known that the Trust pleaded guilty in Belfast Crown Court to failures to protect the health and safety of employees in February 2011. There were also other offences relating to the control and management of asbestos at a similar time in 2011.
This is not the first time the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust has found itself in court on charges of breaching health and safety laws. Less than six months ago, the Trust was fined £10,000 in charges relating to the improper disposal of asbestos. In this case, three construction workers repairing a floor at Belfast City Hospital were exposed to potentially lethal asbestos back in January 2011.
Anyone attempting to remove or interfere with asbestos, or planning any construction work in buildings known to contain asbestos, are advised to conduct thorough risk assessments and only use contractors who have undergone advanced asbestos awareness training or another relevant health and safety training course.