Asbestos removal

The House of Lords has recently overruled a Court of Appeal decision which had in effect held that asbestos safety regulations do not apply to demolition work (ENDS Report 150, p 23 ). The judgement of Lord Griffiths in Nurse v Morganite Crucible Ltd ((1989) 1 All England Law Reports 113) rejects an over-legalistic approach to the interpretation of such regulations.

The case arose out of the demolition of two brick driers carried out by the defendants at a factory in Worcester. The roofs of the driers contained asbestos, and the firm was charged with contravening the Asbestos Regulations 1969 by failing to provide employees with proper respiratory protective equipment.

On appeal, the conviction was quashed by the Divisional Court, which felt obliged to follow the 1987 decision of the Court of Appeal

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