Scottish health board fined £6,000 for asbestos safety failings
A Scottish health board has been fined for safety failings that resulted in numerous workers and contractors being potentially exposed to deadly asbestos fibres.
On the 20th June, Glasgow Sheriff Court heard that Greater Glasgow Health Board, had failed to manage the risks of asbestos in a basement plant room of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow.
During the hearing it was revealed that in February 2009, an asbestos survey had determined the presence of asbestos in various parts of the plant and advised that they were in good condition and presented a low risk. The asbestos survey made further recommendations that the ACM’s should be labelled and their condition monitored so any future deterioration could be managed.
A further asbestos survey in January 2011 discovered that the ACM’s were in a poor condition and posed a higher risk than the previous survey had indicated. It recommended removal and environmental cleaning of the area. Air and swab samples for asbestos fibres came back positive, the plant room was then sealed off and the matter reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
An investigation by the HSE found that the health board had neglected to take any action since the 2009 survey and had failed to monitor the ACM’s within the plant room, properly label the ACM’s or maintain the materials over the following 2 years.
The court also heard that employees of the health board and outside contractors regularly had to access the plant room and could have potentially been exposed to the harmful asbestos fibres in the plant room when carrying out maintenance work.
Greater Glasgow Health Board, of JB Russell House, Gartnavel Royal Hospital, Great Western Road, Glasgow was fined £6,000 after pleading guilty to a breach of Regulation 4(10) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006.
Armco are able to provide consultancy and advice, implement asbestos surveys and provides various asbestos related training to ensure you operate within the asbestos law and protect staff, customers and the general public from potentially fatal asbestos fibre inhalation. Contact the Armco team on 0161 763 3727.