Asbestos fears follow Alderney store blaze

A HEALTH and safety expert from Guernsey was called in to Alderney yesterday to advise  how best to remove concrete asbestos exposed during a blaze at a storage depot.

Alderney fire
The blaze broke out at the former Mouriaux Garage, close to Alderney’s water tower, at around 4pm on Wednesday.

A HEALTH and safety expert from Guernsey was called in to Alderney yesterday to advise  how best to remove concrete asbestos exposed during a blaze at a storage depot.

The island’s States Works department was taking specialist advice on how to deal with the material contained in the building’s charred roof.

The blaze broke out at the former Mouriaux Garage, close to the island’s water tower, at about 4pm on Wednesday and it took fire crews six hours to extinguish it fully.

The building was being used to store construction materials, wood, paint and adhesive and oxyacetylene along with a forklift truck and another vehicle. The roof of the old garage was lined with an inch of concrete asbestos.

  • No one was hurt in the fire and there were not thought to be any suspicious circumstances.

Comments for: "Asbestos fears follow Alderney store blaze"

Mouche

Looking at the 'protective masks' worn in the photo on page two of the press.

Depending on the type of asbestos disturbed during the fire it might be worth getting together to put a claim in!!

Mr fillyomar

Yes i wonder What "expert" was over to give advise on the clean up. judging by said picture on page two, the overalls are only there to protect your clothes but are next to useless if your clothes are on the outside of your overalls.

The type of asbestos is not normally the main concern, it is more the form of asbestos that poses the problem. Delaminated fire damaged corrugated sheets has to be disposed of the same way as the worst forms of asbestos regardless to the type.

I should imagine..... in Alderney.... it will just end up over the cliff in the Alderney Race, and wash up on a beach by you this summer.

Binou

Let's not forget that the States of Alderney have only adopted Health and Safety Law in 2004 and that it has no specific legislation or Approved Code of Practice like Guernsey on asbestos. Even if it is hazardous, it may well end up over the cliff!

As it takes a few decades for the effects of asbestos fibre inhalation to manifest, how about we get the States Members to do the clean up?

Mouche

@ Mr Fillyomar.

On the supposition that one was to put a claim in for exposure to asbestos by an employer one would suggest that a key part of this claim would be the disclosure as to whether amosite, crocidolite or chrysotile was involved.

Once the employee exposure was proved, in the UK, said employer would then carry a risk for possibly decades to mitigate future health complications for the exposed employees. These health complications may include malignant lung cancer, mesothelioma or asbestosis.

I am unsure if this is the same in the Bailiwick. However any of the directors of RGF would almost definately know!

Mr Fillyomar.

@ Mouche

Yes the type of asbestos dose play a part, BUT you can get asbestos cement based products that contain Crocidolite as well as Chrysotile and the removal and disposal procedures are the same as if only Chrysotile Is present. the reason for this being that the asbestos fibers are bonded within the matrix of the cement and in this form pose very little health risk if removed and disposed of in a correct manner.

The problem with Fire damaged cement based products is the air spaces within the sheeting expands as the sheet gets hot causing the sheet to delaminate and expose the asbestos fibers. In this form the fibers are no longer bonded, posing a much greater risk to health.

Binou

As a member of the public, it will be very difficult for a claim for exposure to asbestos fibres against the specific "employer" to be successful! You have to establish exactly who was responsible (building owner? occupier? contractor? client?), then you have to prove that they were negligent or breached a statutory duty, and that the negligence or breach caused the injury (ie the cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis, pleural effusion). It is quite a high hurdle!

In the UK, there is a compensation system based on an "asbestos disease fund" as most asbestos producing companies went out of business, and because it has proved impossible for employees to demonstrate which employer's negligence caused their disease (most workers in construction and maintenance trades tend to work for many different employers throughout their working lives).