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Asbestos offence leads to fine for firms

Two firms have been prosecuted and fined over an incident at an old mill in Bolton that led to workers being exposed to asbestos.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the property's managers and the contractors carrying out maintenance work at the site due to the stacking of damaged asbestos boards at Brownlow Mill, which it discovered during a 2010 inspection.

HSE inspector Philip Strickland said employees were exposed to risk because no checks were carried out to see if the substance was present, despite this being required in law.

He added: "If employers don't take the risks from asbestos seriously, then thousands of people will continue to die in the UK every year as a result of breathing in asbestos fibres."

Respiratory protection is one of the forms of equipment workers should be provided with if they have to work with asbestos.

Earlier this month, two men were prosecuted after fraudulently filling in a form falsely claiming they had completed work to remove asbestos from a school building.

They were found out when their employer checked GPS records and found their van was not at the site when the work was supposed to have taken place.

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