Cheshire based Britannia Hotels Ltd has been ordered to pay more than £200,000 in fines and costs after construction workers and guests were put at risk of asbestos exposure at a Kent Hotel.
The hotel chain failed to ensure a full asbestos assessment was undertaken before construction workers refurbished a wing of The Grand Burstin Hotel in Folkstone between February and July 2010. An asbestos surveyor was only called to the site after work began and they discovered the presence of asbestos. A licensed asbestos contractor was called in to remove the material and seal off the contaminated area to prevent fibres spreading to other parts of the hotel. However, it is possible that fibres spread to other areas still open to hotel guests.
Last week at Canterbury Crown Court, Britannia Hotels Ltd pleaded guilty to two separate breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Inhaling asbestos dust can cause serious diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis however symptoms can take years to develop after exposure. Owing to this long latency period for asbestos-related diseases, it is not yet known whether any construction workers or hotel guests were directly affected, and they now face an uncertain future.
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Britannia Hotels Limited fined for risk of exposing to asbestos dust