Fines have been handed out to an academy and a glass company after workers were exposed to asbestos during a refurbishment project.
Equitas Academies Trust, the owner and operator of Aston Manor Academy, and Birmingham Glass Services Ltd were jointly prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found they put employees at unnecessary risk in the incident on 6 June 2012.
Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard how Equitas Academies Trust hired Birmingham Glass Services Ltd to replace old windows at the academy, having previously used the company for other projects.
But as the windows were removed, two of the four workers on site encountered strips of asbestos insulating board packers.
HSE found that these employees had not received any information on where asbestos could be found in the building.
They also had no asbestos awareness training, while no personal protective equipment, such as face masks or protective clothing, was provided to them.
In addition, there was an absence of emergency procedures in place for the employees if asbestos was disturbed.
Equitas Academies Trust, of Phillips Street, Aston, Birmingham, was fined £7,500 with £3,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Birmingham Glass Services Ltd, of Lightning Way, West Heath, Birmingham, was also fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £1,969 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
If you have sustained an injury due to working with asbestos, you may be able to make a claim for financial compensation.
Asbestos-related disease is responsible for more than 5,000 deaths each year.
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Date Published: November 16, 2013
Author: David Brown