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October 12, 2022

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in court

Ipswich Poundland fined over asbestos failings

Retailer Poundland has been fined for a series of asbestos management failures.

Prior to taking on the former Woolworths store, the retailer had a survey conducted which found several types of asbestos in different locations throughout the building in Carr Street, Ipswich.

Although consultants were brought back annually to monitor the store, Poundland did not have a “proper asbestos management plan for staff and visitors”, Ipswich Borough Council said.

It meant there was no plan for precautions needed to ensure the asbestos was restricted to secure locations, which was required by law.

Poundland Limited was fined £565,000.00 with £75,000.00 costs to Ipswich Borough Council as well as a Victim Surcharge of £15.00 at Ipswich Crown Court on 23 September 2022 for asbestos management failures between 2011 and 2018.

The use of all asbestos has been banned in the UK since 1999 after the discovery that breathing in asbestos dust or fibres could cause fatal diseases, including cancer.

Any asbestos that remains in a building has to be managed safely.

Councillor Alasdair Ross, Portfolio Holder for Community Protection and Health at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “This case shows how important it is for even the largest businesses to take seriously their legal requirement to manage asbestos in premises they use. Asbestos still kills around 5,000 workers each year, this is more than the number of people killed on roads.

“Ipswich Borough Council, as the local enforcement authority for health and safety, is committed to working with businesses to meet their legal duties. In cases of serious and long-standing failure where identified shortcomings are not corrected in a timely manner, Ipswich Borough Council will take enforcement action, even if that means bringing a criminal prosecution as we did in this case.”

In a statement, a spokesman for Poundland said: “While the breaches in Ipswich largely occurred when Poundland was under different ownership, it goes without saying we’re sorry for what happened.

“In terms of asbestos management, Poundland now has significantly different protocols and monitoring today with robust plans for any location that requires them.”


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1 year ago

“The use of all asbestos has been banned in the UK since 1999 after the discovery that breathing in asbestos dust or fibres could cause fatal diseases, including cancer” . it is well documented that the fatal outcomes for people exposed to asbestos has been known for over 100 years, really not a new discovery!