Council and decorating firm fined for exposing workers to asbestos

Following the HSE's prosecution fines and court costs totalling £16, 700 were issued.

North Warwickshire Borough Council and a Birmingham decorating firm have been prosecuted for breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulation 2012 after workers were exposed to potentially-deadly asbestos fibres.

The HSE reported that that the Council was refurbishing one of their community centre in Eastlang Road, Fillongley, on 13 March 2012 when it sent a contractor, Intal Decorators Limited, to remove asbestos insulation board. This type of material is deemed high risk and therefore should have been removed under controlled conditions by a licensed contractor. The court heard that instead it was spread around the site by the decorating firm’s staff.

The HSE were called to investigate when other tradesmen on the site realised what was happening and reported the situation to managers. They found that although the Council was is possession of a Refurbishment and Demolition Survey detailing the presence of asbestos they had failed to pass information on to the contractor.

North Warwickshire Borough Council, of South Street, Atherstone, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for failing to provide sufficient information and instruction to its contractors regarding the presence, nature and scope of work involving asbestos. It was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,200.

In addition, Intal Decorators Limited, of Rough Road, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 for removing asbestos-containing materials without carrying out an assessment. It was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay a further £500 in costs. This is because the firm should have carried out their own risk assessment prior to the commencement of the works. Please see the following link for further information:

http://press.hse.gov.uk/2013/council-and-decorating-firm-prosecuted-for-asbestos-failings/

For all asbestos related queries including the undertaking of both Management and Refurbishment and Demolition Surveys and the correct implementation of the recommendations in such technical reports, call the Armco office on 0161 763 3727.

Published Jan 03, 2014
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