08 Apr 2013
A well-known hotel group has been fined £160,000 in fines and costs after builders and guests were found to be in danger of coming into contact with asbestos at a Kent hotel.
Cheshire firm Britannia Hotels Ltd neglected to carry out an extensive asbestos assessment before builders spent six months renovating a section of The Grand Burstin Hotel in Harbour Way, Folkestone in 2010.
Canterbury Crown Court was told that an asbestos inspector who attended the hotel found a significant quantity of asbestos in the roof. He also discovered asbestos on the second floor, which is believed to have fallen there during the course of the building work.
An official asbestos contractor had to be asked to eliminate the asbestos so that it could not disperse to other areas of the building.
Since health problems linked to asbestos are not always immediate, it is unknown if the health of builders or hotel guests has been affected. Contact with asbestos fibres may cause conditions including lung cancer or lung scarring, which could become evident some years later.
Britannia Hotels Ltd, of Hale Road, Cheshire, admitted two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The firm was ordered to pay £160,000 with £40,051 in costs.
Copyright Press Association 2013