A building contractor has been found guilty of breeching asbestos safety legislation by failing to act when asbestos containing material was discovered in a basement area at the independent girls school.
The court heard that Buxton Building Contractors Ltd was carrying out refurbishment works at Woldingham girls’ school in Caterham in 2011 when a specialist Refurbishment and Demolition Survey they had commissioned identified the presence of asbestos in the undercroft part of the building. It was then reported that the recommendations made in the survey were not acted upon, exposing various works to potentially deadly asbestos fibres.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated when a worker contacted them after breaking through the ceiling and exposed asbestos insulation boarding. The HSE found that although the building contractors were aware of the asbestos containing material they still allowed unrestricted access by a variety of other workers, including a 19-year-old apprentice electrician, over at least a two week period. After the worker discovered the presence of the asbestos insulation board, the area was sealed off by a licensed asbestos contractor.
Buxton Building Contractors Ltd, of High Street, Caterham, Surrey, was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £26,217 after admitting a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to plan, manage and properly monitor the construction work at the school. For more information please see the following link the HSE website:
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Published Jan 16, 2014