A plumbing company has been prosecuted for serious safety failings which may have led to two workers being exposed to dangerous asbestos fibres during a major refurbishment project on flats in Aberystwyth, Wales.
Superior Plumbing Installations Ltd failed to provide the workers, a site manager and a subcontractor, with legally required information about the presence of asbestos while working at the flats in the Penparcau area between November 2010 and February 2011.
The companies’ principal contractor at the site, appeared before Aberystwyth Magistrates on 10th December in a prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The court heard that a routine inspection by HSE found contractors carrying out refurbishment work without taking account of asbestos that may have been present.
It was reported that workers had removed 82 metres of cement board, which a survey had identified as ‘presumed to contain asbestos’, by breaking it up with a hammer and shovelling it into a wheelbarrow before putting it in a general waste skip. It was revealed that the contractor was planning to do the same on two other properties, one of which had asbestos confirmed in the soffits.
The court ruled that no effort was made identify asbestos at the sites and information they did have was not shared with the necessary workers. In addition, no asbestos removal plans were made and the site manager had not received the mandatory asbestos awareness training.
Superior Plumbing Installations Ltd, of Windmill Hill Business Park, Whitehill Way, Swindon, pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £3,830 in costs.
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Published Dec 11, 2012