A building firm in Battersea has been fined for failing to highlight the known presence of asbestos insulating board (AIB) at a warehouse.
As a result of this failing, a foreman and others were exposed to potential harm when the AIB was ripped out during refurbishment work.
The company was in possession of a detailed asbestos survey that clearly identified the location of the asbestos wall panels inside the building, but failed to share this with the team on the ground. As a result, when a foreman mistook the AIB for asbestos cement – a lower risk material – it was removed without adequate control measures and protective equipment.
This meant that the foreman and the workers involved could have unwittingly inhaled asbestos fibres, which can cause terminal health conditions.
The company was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay £2,857 in costs after pleading guilty to two separate breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006.
“The company is guilty of a clear oversight that may have compromised the future health and wellbeing of its workers,” commented HSE inspector Karen Morris. “Everyone knows that asbestos is a potential killer, and the onus is on duty holders to implement proper control measures at all times when dealing with asbestos.”
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