Failure to highlight the known presence of asbestos has landed a Battersea building firm in hot water.
Redwood Contractors Ltd had a detailed asbestos survey that clearly identified the location of the asbestos insulating board inside a warehouse on Molly Millars Close in Wokingham, but failed to share it with the team on the ground.
This meant a foreman and others were exposed to potential harm when it was ripped out during refurbishment work in December 2011.
Breakdown in communication
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive established that the site foreman wasn’t provided with any documentation or other information about the panels, despite an asbestos survey being completed just two months prior to the beginning of the work.
When he mistook the asbestos insulating board for asbestos cement – a lower risk material – it was therefore, removed without adequate control measures and protective equipment, putting those on the ground in danger.
Reading Magistrates’ Court heard how the foreman and the other workers could have unwittingly inhaled asbestos fibres.
Seeking asbestos compensation
Asbestos insulating board should only be removed by a licensed asbestos contractor because of the risk of exposure to the dangerous fibres contained within it.
If you have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace, then you may be entitled to personal injury compensation.
Illnesses or diseases resulting from such exposure can take several years to develop. Accident Advice Helpline can tell you whether you have a case to claim.
Redwood Contractors Ltd, of Battersea Rise, London, pleaded guilty to two separate breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. It was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay £2,857 in costs.
Source: The Construct Index
Date Published: May 10, 2014
Author: David Brown