Thompsons Solicitors has commented on the risk posed to cinema and renovation workers who may have been exposed to asbestos following news that a stop notice has been served by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on refurbishment work on the Odyssey Cinema in St Albans.

The HSE issued a prohibition notice last month requiring renovation work to be stopped until asbestos was safely removed. Licensed contractors are now on site removing the dangerous material.

Asbestos compensation claims experts Thompsons said that asbestos which was reportedly found in insulation and noise reduction panels, floor tiles, fire retardation material and the cinema’s boiler room could pose a risk to any workers who had disturbed the material without their employers taking adequate precautions or providing appropriate personal protective equipment.

The old Odeon cinema, which has been derelict for 15 years, is undergoing a £1.6m renovation to turn it into an art deco theatre.

The HSE prohibition notice is currently under appeal.

Asbestos disease is not a thing of the past

Exposure to asbestos, even at relatively low levels, can increase the risk of developing the fatal cancer, mesothelioma, decades later.

Lorna Webster from Thompsons Solicitors said: “Asbestos can cause fatal cancer and other lung disease decades after the fibres have been breathed in.  Asbestos disease is not a thing of the past. More people will die from mesothelioma this year in the UK than at any time previously and the number of deaths is predicted to continue to rise until at least 2015.

“Asbestos exposure is increasingly from materials in older buildings. Workers among the most at risk are those involved in the construction industry and building trades.

Thompsons Solicitors have published an information page entitled - What to do after a Recent Exposure to Asbestos.

Contact Thompsons Solicitors

If you have recently been exposed to asbestos and would like to have your details recorded on our asbestos register or if you have recently been diagnosed with an asbestos related illness and are considering making a claim for compensation, contact us for assistance.

You can reach us on 08000 224 224 or can complete one of our online enquiry forms.

There are strict time limits in place to make any personal injury claim. For further information, contact us or visit our Questions Answered page.