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The HSE have reported that Kent County Council have been issued with a fine of £200,000 due to asbestos disturbed at a school managed by them.
Lansdowne Primary School was found to contain asbestos rope hanging from the ceiling and an asbestos flue during a routine inspection by environmental health.
As a result, a prohibition notice was immediately served and an investigation was carried out.
The primary school now operates as an independent educational trust.
HSE Investigators concluded that the rope and flue had been disturbed 18 months previously when the school was still under the care of the council.
They also discovered that the asbestos flue and gasket rope were attached to a steriliser unit that was removed by the caretaker.
The caretaker had not had any asbestos management or awareness training, and neither had the head teacher.
Kent County Council failed to provide the school staff with suitable asbestos training, and as such put them at risk of asbestos exposure.
Canterbury Crown Court issued the council with a fine of £200,000 and additional costs of £21,500 after they pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 10 (1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
Kevin Golding, HSE inspector, said after the case was heard in court, “The Council had implemented a system, but they had failed to take the simple step of checking to ensure it was being rigorously adhered to, resulting in employees not receiving the appropriate training. Organisations should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
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