September 30, 2015

Companies fined for serious failings involving asbestos

Three workers were exposed to asbestos while working for Cowen Builders Ltd (CBL) at the site in Kensington Church Street in May 2013.

Westminster Magistrates Court heard that the firm had been contracted to carry out work at the premises by Paragon Management UK Ltd.

Asbestos had previously been identified during a survey, but Paragon had failed to provide details to the building firm before work started.

CBL had not considered the possibility that asbestos was present and their employees continued to work without adequate protection after it was apparent that the deadly fibres had been disturbed.

Paragon Management UK Limited, from Austin Friars, London, was fined a total of £20,000, and ordered to pay £2,373 in costs after pleading guilty to an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. They were also ordered to pay compensation to each of the three workers.

Kenneth Cowen, sole director of Cowen Building Limited of South Woodham Ferrers, in Essex, was fined £15,000, and ordered to pay £2,373 in costs after admitting breaches of the same legislation.

The three men, who have not been identified, may have to wait years or even decades before they know if exposure will lead to life-threatening health problems.

At Royds, our personal injury team has a wealth of experience representing both claimants and defendants in respect of actions involving industrial diseases such as asbestosis. For more information please visit or email James Millar Craig.

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