Monks sue heating firm

Published:  27 September, 2011

Monks have sued a heating firm for thousands of pounds for exposure to asbestos.

The Order of Friars Minor has sued a heating firm for £35,000 after engineers disturbed asbestos in the chapel, the Edinburgh Evening News reported.

Staff at Lothian Heating Services had spent a week installing a new heating system before they noticed an asbestos warning in the monks' toilet.

The religious order took legal action at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to recover the £35,000 spent making their building safe again.

The monks claimed workers failed to check whether asbestos was present in the building ahead of work to replace the chapel's heating system and damaged the structure.

The firm's employees created a large access hole through the wall from the boiler house of the building to facilitate the removal of old pipes, which had asbestos insulation material attached to them.

According to the order's legal team the firm's employees worked on the boiler room and the building's laundry room, but were "unaware that there was any asbestos present" until one of the employees noticed an asbestos warning sticker "by chance" in the toilets on the ground floor of the property.

The workers were told there was an asbestos register and provided with a copy.

From this the company "ascertained that they had unknowingly been working with dangerous asbestos".

The matter was then reported to the Health & Safety Executive and work stopped.

The company declined to comment on the case.

*Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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