Legal news round-up

Asbestos fine

Pub operator Mitchells & Butlers Retail has been fined a total of £14,001 plus costs of £11,781.45 after three electricians and two plumbers were exposed to asbestos during refurbishment works at a pub in Darlington.

The company commissioned a survey to check for the presence of asbestos at the pub in June 2007, but this was restricted to those areas where the proposed refurbishment works were to be carried out. The refurbishment plans were subsequently changed before work started and the workers commenced activities in a kitchen area that had not been included in the original survey. The ceiling tiles in the kitchen contained asbestos, the workers drilled into them and were covered in dust, potentially exposing them to asbestos fibres.

Dermatitis compensation

Rolls-Royce has agreed to pay £5,500 compensation to an employee who developed dermatitis after he was exposed to a corrosive coolant while working as a turner on aircraft turbines at the company’s plant. He was assigned to cover for workmates on a drilling machine in February 2007, which involved picking sharp metal off-cuts out of coolant that built up in the base of the drill. He was provided with plastic-lined gloves, but these were easily punctured by the metal scraps, bringing his hands into contact with the corrosive coolant. The company agreed to settle the case after court proceedings were issued.

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