It is important if unsure of how to safely carry out non-licensed work involving asbestos to either refer to Asbestos essentials or contact a competent individual within the industry. The HSE have reported on a recent case of failing to prevent exposure.
A manufacturing company and contractor have been prosecuted after failing to prevent exposure of workers and others to asbestos whilst cleaning an asbestos cement roof.
Carter Brothers (Rochdale) Ltd contracted Frank Allan, trading as ‘Jet Blast and Maintenance,’ to clean its premises including the asbestos cement roof in September 2016.
Greater Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard that the work to clean the roof was unnecessary and had not been agreed in advance with the landlord of the property.
A Health Safety Executive investigation found that the contractor had failed to identify the risks involved. There were insufficient measures put in place to prevent exposure to asbestos when using an industrial high pressure jet washer to clean a fragile asbestos cement roof. Asbestos was subsequently found in debris around the premises.
Carter Brothers did not select a suitable contractor and did not monitor or supervise the work being carried out by Frank Allan on the roof. If the work was required, the company should have employed a specialist contractor with access to specialist cleaning equipment.
Carter Brothers (Rochdale) Ltd of Fieldhouse Industrial Estate, Rochdale pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £8000 with £3913.94 costs.
Frank Allan T/A Jet Blast and Maintenance of Union Road, Rochdale, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 6 and 11 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and was fined £330 with £3910.94 costs.
Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Lisa Bailey said:: “The case highlights the importance of following the advice and guidance that is freely available from HSE to prevent the risk of exposure to asbestos to members of the public and workers. Asbestos can cause serious diseases and still kills around 5000 workers per year. If the appropriate control measures had been taken then workers and members of the public would not have been put at risk”
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