University of Lincoln fined £10,000 for asbestos failings

Chad Varah House
Image caption Asbestos was found in four university buildings

The University of Lincoln has been fined £10,000 after it admitted leaving students and staff at risk of exposure to asbestos.

The university failed to take adequate steps to tackle asbestos found in four of its buildings, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) heard.

Managers failed to follow their own asbestos management plan, between 2006 and 2010, the HSE was told.

Lincoln University said it had since made its buildings safe.

The failings came to light when a lecturer noticed "strange" dust around a broken door handle, in February 2010.

Policies 'updated'

Independent asbestos surveys carried out by the HSE identified the dangerous material in doors at four university buildings over several years but no remedial action had been taken.

Two members of the estate's management team have resigned since asbestos was found at Chad Varah House, Greestone Court, the Old Hall and Wordsworth Hall.

After the hearing at Lincoln Magistrates' Court, HSE inspector Edward Walker said: "Exposure to asbestos fibres is a well known health hazard that results in approximately 4,000 deaths a year.

"The university had an asbestos management plan but had failed to follow it and failed to take appropriate steps to manage the risks associated with asbestos over a number of years, putting staff, students and contractors at risk of potential exposure."

The University of Lincoln, which was was also ordered to pay £12,759 costs, said it had since updated and modernised its policies and procedures and all of its premises were now compliant with current regulations.

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