Scotland council fined for ignoring asbestos warnings

Scotland council fined for ignoring asbestos warnings

Stirling council have been fined the sum of £10,500 for repeatedly ignoring safety warnings regarding asbestos in their headquarters building.

Council chiefs had known about the asbestos in the basement of the Old Viewforth building for over 9 years.

Yet despite knowing about the asbestos lagged pipes, they continued to allow staff to clean down in the boiler room where the asbestos was present.

The council had received three different warnings from Consultants over the years about the presence of asbestos.

Even so, the council workers were never provided with any protective clothing or face masks before entering the affected area.

Now the council are said to be offering their support to all those staff who may be affected.

There is a risk that those staff who carried out duties in the boiler room could develop an asbestos related disease.

Experts warned against asbestos back in 2003

The Institute of Occupational Medicine carried out an inspection of the boiler room in 2003.

They advised at the time that they had discovered asbestos throughout the building.

It was recommended that the council arrange to have the asbestos removed as soon as possible.

However, the council ignored the recommendation and failed to inform their employees about the presence of asbestos.

In 2010 and 2011, further surveys were carried out, which identified that the asbestos still remained.

Inparticular, asbestos found on pipe lagging was recorded as high risk.

Employees were put at high risk

In February 2012, the court heard how 3 employees were tasked with carrying out a deep clean in the boiler room.

They were never warned about the presence of asbestos and never provided with any protective clothing to wear for the task.

Later in 2012, yet another survey warned against the dangers of asbestos in the old building.

At that point, the council eventually decided to restrict access to the affected boiler room.

They reported themselves to the HSE, who then launched an investigation.

Fortunately, to date, none of the employees have experienced any side effects or signs of illness.

The asbestos has now been removed.

Stirling Council have also admitted to being in breach of the Health & Safety at work Act.

Source of article:-  www.heraldscotland.com

Duty holders and employers have a legal responsibility to manage asbestos in their building so as not to put employees at risk. Contact our Armco office for asbestos management and refurbishment/ demolition surveys on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting http://www.armco.org.uk/
Alternatively, for all your asbestos training needs call 0161 761 4424 or visit http://www.armcoasbestostraining.co.uk/ for more information or to book a training course.

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