A contractor has been fined for failing to carry out the relevant asbestos checks on a building project in Biggleswade.
Risk of serious illnesses
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which was alerted to the poor working practices by a member of the public, says the safety failings noted could have led to serious illness later in life.
Many studies have linked asbestos exposure to mesothelioma and lung cancer. In 2014, 2,515 died from mesothelioma.
Bedfordshire-based contractor Anthony West was hired to demolish a building in Biggleswade. Mr West had a pre-demolition asbestos survey carried out for the building, Luton Magistrates Court heard.
But shortly after the work started, a member of the public reported it to the HSE, prompting a full investigation into the work.
Failed to check survey
It was revealed during this inspection that Mr West hadn’t properly checked the pre-demolition asbestos survey before carrying out the work. The HSE also found out that Mr West failed to follow advice that he should use a licensed asbestos removal contractor.
HSE inspector Alison Outhwaite said: “The safety failings in this case could have led to severe illness in later years.
“West not only put himself at risk to exposure but potentially fellow workers and members of the public walking past.
“Duty holders have the responsibility to ensure that adequate assessments take place to avoid the risk of asbestos exposure. This includes checking the accuracy and clarity of any information provided by others.”
Mr West pleaded guilty to breaching sections 5, 7, 8 and 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and has been fined £2,970 and ordered to pay costs of £5,419.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: March 12, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown