Hospital Trust fined after failure to notify contractors of asbestos survey findings
City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £4,582.40 after failing to make contractors aware of asbestos identified in a survey undertaken of the property.
A North East hospital trust has been fined after contractors carrying out work on the building were exposed to potentially deadly asbestos fibres at Sunderland Eye Infirmary in March 2012.
Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard that over the weekend of 24/25th March 2012, contractors at the Infirmary on Queen Alexandra Road drilled through door surrounds on a ward to install cables. A member of the Trust raised concerns the following day regarding the works and it was later confirmed that the door surrounds were made of asbestos insulating board.
The court heard in tact asbestos insulating board does not pose a risk to health but when damaged, such as in this case by drilling, asbestos fibres can be release into the air. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust had a copy of an up to date asbestos survey that clearly identified the asbestos in the door surrounds but at no point had the contractors been made aware of the location or condition of any asbestos.
City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Kayll Road, Sunderland was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £4,582.40 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (9)(c)(i) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Shuna Rank, said “There need to be systems in place to ensure that all workers are aware of where asbestos is, if their work is likely to bring them into contact with asbestos-containing materials.”