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Sherborne School in Dorset and the Director of the company overseeing a refurbishment of the School have been prosecuted after an investigation found they had failed to identify and prevent the risk of asbestos exposure at the school.
An investigation by the HSE found that Asbestos Insulation Boards were removed in an unsafe way, exposing building contractors and a teenage work experience student to asbestos fibres, thus leaving them at risk of developing serious and potentially fatal diseases later in life.
Dorchester Crown Court heard that from the throughout the project, from its design stage in May 2008 to implementing the refurbishment works July 2009, there was less than adequate planning including a failure to ensure a legally required asbestos survey. I was noted that this failure was in spite of knowing there was asbestos there due to a sample that was taken from the building in 2008 testing positive. In addition, asbestos had previously been removed from other parts of the school and an asbestos register was also available.
Sherborne School pleaded guilty breaching Regulation 4(8) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and Regulation 14 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 at a previous hearing before Weymouth Magistrates. The school was fined a total of £60,000 and ordered to pay £13,000 in costs.
Peter Eldridge, of Long Street, Sherborne, Dorset, also pleaded guilty at Weymouth Magistrates to breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act for his neglect as an individual director. He also pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 11(3) and 18(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 for contributing to the failings of his company. He was fined a total of £10,000 with costs of £6,000.
Speaking after the prosecution, HSE Inspector Joanna Teasdale, said “Both Peter Eldridge and Sherborne School knew about the risks posed by the presence of asbestos in the school buildings, and yet they failed to manage the risk of exposure to asbestos fibres during the refurbishment project”.
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Published Jul 18, 2012