Emails show that not only is the University of London prevaricating over the issues raised in relation to the health of maintenance workers who have been exposed to asbestos, but that there are potentially more issues with areas previously declared clear.

 

From: Danny Millum <dannymillum@iwgb.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2018 at 17:00
Subject: Re: FW: John Barnett and asbestos
To: Simon Cain <Simon.Cain@london.ac.uk>
Cc: John Barnett <Johnbarnett1010@hotmail.co.uk>, Peter Kopelman <Peter.Kopelman@london.ac.uk>, Chris Cobb <Chris.Cobb@london.ac.uk>, Ghazwa Alwani-Starr <Ghazwa.Alwani-Starr@london.ac.uk>

Dear Simon,

I am writing once again with regard to the ongoing asbestos issue.

On 12 September you reassured me that:

  • The collation of historical data by a consultant is ongoing and good progress has been made.
  • The updated Asbestos Management plan will be published in the near future.

Since then I have heard nothing more. Instead, I have been informed by John today of the following email, which states:

Can you please notify all of our staff that access to the North Heating Chamber is limited by approval from Martin Prout, John Stone or John O’Donnell at this time as there is suspect materials that have been identified during the Lucien inspections in that area and until verified and treated accordingly access is restricted.  

In other words, we have still not made any progress on the historical asbestos issues on which I have been promised action since January (see email chain below) AND now it transpires that there are potentially more issues with areas previously declared clear.

To demonstrate the seriousness of the situation, John has asked me to attach his CT scan appointment – as a consequence of his condition (developed while working at the UoL for the last 30 years) he now has to attend such an appointment on a yearly basis.

Could you please as a matter of urgency provide the information promised above and confirm that a full investigation of the North Heating Chamber situation will take place?

Best wishes

Danny

 

On Wed, 26 Sep 2018 at 11:02, Danny Millum <dannymillum@iwgb.co.uk> wrote:

 

Dear Simon,

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you – John has been on jury service.

With regard to the specific points we would like raised with P&FM, we would urgently request answers to the following:

  1. Following the departure of Paul Lambert, the UoL asbestos manager, who took over his duties and responsibiities?
  2. Can we see the documentation relating to the periodic asbestos checks that should have been conducted between Paul Lambert’s departure and the re-opening of the asbestos issue in 2015-16?
  3. During this period had asbestos danger areas been identified, and were they checked? Can we see this documentation?
  4. Can we see the asbestos management reports for the period after Paul Lambert’s departure?

If you could get this information to us as soon as possible that would be much appreciated.

Best wishes

Danny

 

On Wed, 12 Sep 2018 at 17:46, Simon Cain <Simon.Cain@london.ac.uk> wrote:

Dear Danny,

Apologies as I realise that I have overlooked providing you with a response to your message below.

I have spoken to my colleagues in P&FM and understand the position regarding the work that has been completed coupled with the work being done and progress that has been made is as follows:

  • The collation of historical data by a consultant is ongoing and good progress has been made.
  • The updated Asbestos Management plan will be published in the near future.
  • Asbestos Management Surveys for the whole estate continue through our Framework Consultant and the aim is to be complete by year end 2018.

I have noted that it is important for the work to be completed as soon as possible.

It would be helpful for you to send me any specific points if any that you would like raised with P&FM and I will facilitate a response.

Best wishes,

Simon

From: Danny Millum [mailto:dannymillum@iwgb.co.uk]
Sent: 27 July 2018 16:05
To: Simon Cain <Simon.Cain@london.ac.uk>
Cc: John Barnett <Johnbarnett1010@hotmail.co.uk>
Subject: Re: FW: John Barnett and asbestos

Dear Simon,

Thanks for getting back to us – I think it would be really helpful for John and I if we could meet with you and whoever is working on this in P&FM so we can get a sense of what work is being done and what progress has been made.

If you could let us know when this might be possible that would be much appreciated.

Best wishes

Danny

On 20 July 2018 at 16:11, Simon Cain <Simon.Cain@london.ac.uk> wrote:

Dear Danny,

I have now had the opportunity to discuss these matters with colleagues in P&FM.

I am informed that they are in the process of putting together an update, which will be made available to all staff shortly.

The work to draw together the University’s Asbestos Management history continues.  Largely for the reasons given in Kim’s previous response, but also due to some resourcing challenges within the P&FM team, this work will not be completed significantly before the end of September 2018.

Best wishes,

Simon

From: Danny Millum [mailto:dannymillum@iwgb.co.uk]
Sent: 19 July 2018 08:21
To: Simon Cain <Simon.Cain@london.ac.uk>
Cc: John Barnett <Johnbarnett1010@hotmail.co.uk>
Subject: Fwd: FW: John Barnett and asbestos

Dear Simon,

Many thanks for your email – has this meeting now taken place?

I have met with John, and he would like a date by which this material will be provided.

Best wishes,

Danny

From: Simon Cain [mailto:Simon.Cain@london.ac.uk]
Sent: 13 July 2018 14:57
To: Danny Millum <
dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk>
Subject: RE: John Barnett and asbestos

Dear Danny,

Just by way of update, I have arranged a meeting next week with relevant colleagues in PFM and will come back to you substantially following that meeting.

On a related note, I will be working with Sarah on the Health referrals that I understand have been made for a number of individuals.  We received confirmation of an appointment at the Royal Brompton within the last week and I have posted this on to the individual concerned.

Best wishes,

Simon

From: Danny Millum [mailto:dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk]
Sent: 08 July 2018 17:50
To: Simon Cain <
Simon.Cain@london.ac.uk>
Cc: Ghazwa Alwani-Starr <
Ghazwa.Alwani-Starr@london.ac.uk>; ‘John Barnett’ <Johnbarnett1010@hotmail.co.uk>; Chris Cobb <Chris.Cobb@london.ac.uk>; Adrian Smith <adrian.smith@london.ac.uk>
Subject: RE: John Barnett and asbestos
Importance: High

Dear Simon,

Many thanks for your email.

The reason we would expect a comment from the University is that the death of a former colleague is obviously of massive significance to colleagues also exposed to asbestos, and the University had committed going forward (having failed to do this in the past) to keeping staff informed.

Could you therefore arrange a meeting with the relevant University manager in charge of the asbestos situation and in charge of the gathering of files (as if Kim is to be believed, this process has already begun)?

Best wishes

Danny

From: Simon Cain [mailto:Simon.Cain@london.ac.uk]
Sent: 05 July 2018 17:07
To: Danny Millum <
dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk>
Cc: Ghazwa Alwani-Starr <
Ghazwa.Alwani-Starr@london.ac.uk>; ‘John Barnett’ <Johnbarnett1010@hotmail.co.uk>; Chris Cobb <Chris.Cobb@london.ac.uk>; Adrian Smith <adrian.smith@london.ac.uk>
Subject: RE: John Barnett and asbestos

Dear Danny,

Just writing initially to acknowledge receipt of your email.

I have noted your questions and will confirm at the earliest opportunity who will be taking forward your request for information.

I will also confirm who will be providing updates moving forward.  I trust you will accept however that it would not be appropriate for me or the University to comment specifically on a named individual.

You will note that I have removed Claire Rae from the circulation list.  Claire is now on maternity leave and so I would grateful if you could not include her in future correspondence.

Best wishes,

Simon

From: Danny Millum [mailto:dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk]
Sent: 03 July 2018 12:31
To: Simon Cain <
Simon.Cain@london.ac.uk>
Cc: Claire Rae <
Claire.Rae@london.ac.uk>; Ghazwa Alwani-Starr <Ghazwa.Alwani-Starr@london.ac.uk>; ‘John Barnett’ <Johnbarnett1010@hotmail.co.uk>; Chris Cobb <Chris.Cobb@london.ac.uk>; Adrian Smith <adrian.smith@london.ac.uk>
Subject: RE: John Barnett and asbestos

Dear Simon

I am writing to you with regard to the issue below, given that Kim has now retired.

Having spoken to John we are both shocked at the way the University has continued to deal with this issue. Kim promised us this information on 5 February. He then continued to procrastinate, knowing full well that he was about to retire, and that this would become ‘someone else’s problem’.

Could you please inform us who is now taking responsibility for providing this information?

We were also promised by the University that they would keep affected staff apprised of all asbestos-related developments going forward. Once again, this is not being adhered to. We have become aware of another former University employee, Roger Blake, who also died of mesothelioma. This obviously is of crucial interest to staff – and yet the University has failed to pass on this information.

Can you explain why this has happened and who is responsible?

If you could urgently either respond to these queries or direct us to the relevant person that would be much appreciated.

Best wishes

Danny

From: Kim Frost [mailto:Kim.Frost@london.ac.uk]
Sent: 04 June 2018 13:41
To:
dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk
Cc: Claire Rae <
Claire.Rae@london.ac.uk>; Ghazwa Alwani-Starr <Ghazwa.Alwani-Starr@london.ac.uk>; ‘John Barnett’ <Johnbarnett1010@hotmail.co.uk>
Subject: RE: John Barnett and asbestos

Dear Danny,

I understand that John attended his appointment at the Royal Brompton Hospital and that an advice report has been sent to him for review. Others have also had appointments or been offered them.

We are compiling the documentation which as you’ll appreciate goes back over a number of years and is held in a variety of formats and locations. We are keen to do this thoroughly and to be sure we have it all. This is not something that can be done quickly and I estimate will need a number of weeks to complete.

Best wishes

Kim

Kim Frost
University Secretary and Director of Human Resources
University of London
Senate House
Malet Street
London
WC1E 7HU
Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 8026 Web: www.london.ac.uk

From: Danny Millum [mailto:dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk]
Sent: 31 May 2018 15:08
To: Kim Frost <
Kim.Frost@london.ac.uk>
Cc: Claire Rae <
Claire.Rae@london.ac.uk>; Ghazwa Alwani-Starr <Ghazwa.Alwani-Starr@london.ac.uk>; ‘John Barnett’ <Johnbarnett1010@hotmail.co.uk>
Subject: RE: John Barnett and asbestos
Importance: High

Dear Kim

I am writing to follow up on this – nearly three months has elapsed, and we have had neither the documentation nor even confirmation of any timescale for this.

Could you get back to me as soon as possible with this information?

Best wishes

Danny

From: Danny Millum [mailto:dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk]
Sent: 01 March 2018 17:41
To: Kim Frost <
Kim.Frost@london.ac.uk>
Cc: Claire Rae <
Claire.Rae@london.ac.uk>; Ghazwa Alwani-Starr <Ghazwa.Alwani-Starr@london.ac.uk>; ‘John Barnett’ <Johnbarnett1010@hotmail.co.uk>
Subject: RE: John Barnett and asbestos

Dear Kim,

Many thanks for getting back to me – if you could let us know when you have a timeframe that would be most helpful.

Best wishes

Danny

From: Kim Frost [mailto:Kim.Frost@london.ac.uk]
Sent: 28 February 2018 16:12
To: Danny Millum <
dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk>
Cc: Claire Rae <
Claire.Rae@london.ac.uk>; Ghazwa Alwani-Starr <Ghazwa.Alwani-Starr@london.ac.uk>; ‘John Barnett’ <Johnbarnett1010@hotmail.co.uk>
Subject: RE: John Barnett and asbestos

Dear Danny,

Much of this information is in paper form in archives and assembling it is not an overnight task. Once it is collated electronically we will be able to make it available. I cannot yet give a timeframe but hope to have a better estimate in a few days

Best wishes

Kim

Kim Frost
University Secretary and Director of Human Resources
University of London
Senate House
Malet Street
London
WC1E 7HU
Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 8026  Web: www.london.ac.uk

From: Danny Millum [mailto:dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk]
Sent: 25 February 2018 12:57
To: Kim Frost <
Kim.Frost@london.ac.uk>
Cc: Claire Rae <
Claire.Rae@london.ac.uk>; Ghazwa Alwani-Starr <Ghazwa.Alwani-Starr@london.ac.uk>; ‘John Barnett’ <Johnbarnett1010@hotmail.co.uk>
Subject: RE: John Barnett and asbestos
Importance: High

Dear Kim

Would you be able to confirm when the documentation referred to below will be available, as it is now more than 5 weeks since the original request?

Best wishes

Danny

From: Kim Frost [mailto:Kim.Frost@london.ac.uk]
Sent: 05 February 2018 10:43
To: Danny Millum <
dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk>
Cc: Claire Rae <
Claire.Rae@london.ac.uk>; Ghazwa Alwani-Starr <Ghazwa.Alwani-Starr@london.ac.uk>
Subject: RE: John Barnett and asbestos

Dear Danny,

Thanks for this. Claire has been in contact with our Occupational Health advisers and will be in touch with you today to arrange private appointments with a chest physician for John and Dennis. Please obtain similar signed authorisations from the others who would like to do this.

We are compiling documentation on asbestos management for the last decades but you will appreciate that for the earlier decades this needs to be recovered from paper archives and will take some time. We will share this when that is done

Best wishes

Kim

Kim Frost
University Secretary and Director of Human Resources
University of London
Senate House
Malet Street
London
WC1E 7HU
Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 8026  Web: www.london.ac.uk

From: Danny Millum [mailto:dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk]
Sent: 02 February 2018 14:17
To: Kim Frost <
Kim.Frost@london.ac.uk>
Subject: RE: John Barnett and asbestos
Importance: High

Dear Kim

We have now provided the relevant signed agreements, and have still not received the substantive response you promised.

John and Dennis are feeling extremely stressed re the slow handling of this issue, and have asked me to reiterate their request, namely:

  1. All documentation relating to asbestos management at the University of London for the last 30 years
  2. An acknowledgement from the University of responsibility for the damage to his health and a suitable offer of compensation
  3. Immediate CT scans for all potentially affected staff (this latter point is extremely important – staff have thus far only received OH checks (and this only after demanding these were demanded by the IWGB), and as John’s OH check failed to reveal his lung damage, it is clear that these are completely inadequate)

Furthermore, I have a list of more maintenance workers who have requested scans – can this be arranged please:

John O’Flaherty

Adam McTaggart

Peter Barraclough

Ashley Frampton

Matt Bayles

Neil Holmes

Matt Lee

If you could get back to me as soon as possible that would be much appreciated.

Best wishes

Danny

From: Kim Frost [mailto:Kim.Frost@london.ac.uk]
Sent: 23 January 2018 11:21
To: Danny Millum <dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk>
Subject: RE: John Barnett and asbestos

Dear Danny,

Could I please ask you to get John to provide his signed agreement for us to share information about this with you? You’ll understand that we need explicit consent from the individual when dealing with these issues. In the meantime our specialist advisers are investigating these issues so that we can provide a substantive response.

Best wishes

Kim

Kim Frost
University Secretary and Director of Human Resources
University of London
Senate House
Malet Street
London
WC1E 7HU
Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 8026    Web: www.london.ac.uk

From: Kim Frost
Sent: 18 January 2018 09:27
To: ‘Danny Millum’ <
dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk>
Cc: ‘john’ <
johnbarnett1010@hotmail.co.uk>; ‘Emiliano Mellino’ <emilianomellino@iwgb.co.uk>; ‘Mariachiara Valsecchi’ <mvalsecchi@iwgb.co.uk>; ‘Jason Moyer-Lee’ <jasonmoyer-lee@iwgb.co.uk>; ‘Henry Chango-Lopez’ <henrychangolopez@iwgb.co.uk>; Simon Cain <Simon.Cain@london.ac.uk>; Ghazwa Alwani-Starr <Ghazwa.Alwani-Starr@london.ac.uk>; Chris Cobb <Chris.Cobb@london.ac.uk>
Subject: RE: John Barnett and asbestos

Dear Danny,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your email. We will be in touch soon.

With best wishes

Kim

Kim Frost
University Secretary and Director of Human Resources
University of London
Senate House
Malet Street
London
WC1E 7HU
Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 8026  Web: www.london.ac.uk

From: Danny Millum [mailto:dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk]
Sent: 16 January 2018 10:50
To: Kim Frost <
Kim.Frost@london.ac.uk>
Cc: ‘john’ <
johnbarnett1010@hotmail.co.uk>; ‘Emiliano Mellino’ <emilianomellino@iwgb.co.uk>; ‘Mariachiara Valsecchi’ <mvalsecchi@iwgb.co.uk>; ‘Jason Moyer-Lee’ <jasonmoyer-lee@iwgb.co.uk>; ‘Henry Chango-Lopez’ <henrychangolopez@iwgb.co.uk>; Simon Cain <Simon.Cain@london.ac.uk>; Ghazwa Alwani-Starr <Ghazwa.Alwani-Starr@london.ac.uk>; Chris Cobb <Chris.Cobb@london.ac.uk>
Subject: John Barnett and asbestos
Importance: High

Dear Kim

I am writing on behalf of John Barnett, the painter and decorator at the University of London.

John had an appointment with his GP on 8 December relating to a persistent cough. The GP was concerned, and arranged for a CT scan which took place on 13 December.

He received the results on 20 December – these indicated that he had pleural plaques on his lungs, which the consultant confirmed could only have been caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos in the workplace.

Pleural plaques typically take 10-20 years to manifest themselves. John has worked at the University of London for 30 years and so it is clear that the exposure took place here.

Further evidence that this is the case has now been provided by John, in the form of:

  1. A signed letter from Robin Thomas dated 13 August 2003 which states ‘I retain a record that you were working in the vicinity of the boilerhouse in Germanic Studies when there was a release of asbestos and that you entered the boilerhouse after the event and before the area was hygienically cleaned’.
  2. An improvement notice issued to the University of London by the HSE on 30 July 2002, which states that the University were in contravention of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 1987 because ‘adequate arrangements have not been made for the management of the risk from exposure to asbestos to employees’.

John has suffered from a huge amount of stress as a consequence of this, has been prescribed diazepam and has been recommended that a heart monitor be fitted as a consequence of his heart palpitations. In addition he has also been forced to seek help from Camden and Islington’s I COPE counselling service.

As the above clearly demonstrates, the University has put his life at risk by exposing him to asbestos in breach of HSE regulations, and in addition his health is now suffering as a consequence of the stress caused by this diagnosis.

This is of course in addition to the recent asbestos issues discovered in 2016, which demonstrated that further exposure has occurred between 2003 and 2016, and in response to which the University has still failed to produce an asbestos management plan, in further contravention of HSE regulations.

As a consequence, John is requesting as a matter of urgency:

  1. All documentation relating to asbestos management at the University of London for the last 30 years
  2. An acknowledgement from the University of responsibility for the damage to his health and a suitable offer of compensation
  3. Immediate CT scans for all potentially affected staff (this latter point is extremely important – staff have thus far only received OH checks (and this only after demanding these were demanded by the IWGB), and as John’s OH check failed to reveal his lung damage, it is clear that these are completely inadequate)

Please could you respond to this email as a matter of urgency (the IWGB’s legal department and press office have also been copied in).

Best wishes

Danny

Danny Millum
Branch Secretary
University of London IWGB
https://iwgb-universityoflondon.org/

 

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