It is shocking to think that despite all that is known about the dangers of asbestos many employers continue to put their employees lives at risk. It only takes one fibre of the deadly material to cause a potentially deadly problem, which is why it’s so important to act sensibly and carefully when dealing with demolitions, renovations and maintenance work.
One company was recently prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive for failing to protect their workers from asbestos. Superior Plumbing Installations hired a subcontractor and a site manager to work on a refurbishment project in Aberystwyth. The two men worked on the flats between November 2010 and February 2011. During that time they were not told about the presence of asbestos and were given no information regarding the environment they were working in.
Fine for Failing to Ensure Workers Safety
The principle contractor, Superior Plumbing Installations, was therefore summoned to appear at Aberystwyth Magistrates Court on December 10 2012. They were prosecuted by the HSE after it was discovered about the work being conducted during a routine inspection. The men had taken out 82 metres of cement board which contained asbestos. The board was broken with hammers, shovelled into wheelbarrows and then taken to a skip. The inspectors also discovered that the main contractors were due to work on two more properties, one of which also had asbestos present.
As the company had failed to plan the safe removal of asbestos and the manager had no training in asbestos awareness they pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. They were fined £5,000 and will have to play £3,830 in court costs.
An Asbestos Survey Can Save Lives
All contractors must ensure that there is no asbestos present before allowing work to begin. An asbestos survey will reveal whether or not the deadly material is in the building. If it is discovered the contractor must organise the right type of removal or treatment of the asbestos.
With around 4,000 people dying each year from being exposed to asbestos it is necessary to take the hazardous material very seriously. The laws are there to ensure that workers and the public are not exposed to the fibres and must be followed. Failure to do so will always result in prosecution. What’s more you may have to love with the knowledge that your lapse in judgement has resulted in individuals from contracting deadly diseases that could have easily been avoided.
Asbestos surveys are provided by health and safety consultants. This is a health and safety service that is simple to request, affordable and it will help you to save lives and comply with the law. Find out more about our asbestos surveys by speaking to us directly on 0800 1488 677