Workers were put at risk of being exposed to potentially dangerous asbestos fibres
by the actions of two firms, magistrates have been told.
Hartlepool metal recycling firm Baxketh Ltd was asked to take old pipes and other steel works from a building in New Road, Billingham, belonging to UK Tankcleaning Services Ltd, Teeside Magistrates’ Court heard on Tuesday.
The court was told some of it was clad with insulation containing asbestos and it was taken down without any safety measures to stop fibres from spreading.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was informed of a complaint from a person working nearby and held an investigation, the court heard.
Inspectors saw the directors of Baxketh Ltd, Michael Almond Senior, 73, and Michael Almond Junior, 47, near the pipe work and pieces of broken cladding during a site visit on 22 February 2013.
Tests carried out at the site confirmed there were asbestos fibres present in the debris.
It was Michael Almond Senior who had agreed to carry out the work with the site manager of UK Tankcleaning Services Ltd and that firm had not made sure Baxketh Ltd was aware of the whereabouts of asbestos and the condition it was in.
The court was told Baxketh Ltd had not assessed whether asbestos was present or taken any safety measures to protect workers from it.
Admitting a breach of Regulations 5(a) and 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, Baxketh Ltd, of Burn Road, Hartlepool, was fined £12,000 and must also pay £3,804.20 in costs.
Magistrates fined UK Tankcleaning Services Ltd, of Lodge Lane, Doncaster, £10,000 and told it to pay costs of £2,243.40 after it pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the same laws.
The two Baxketh directors both admitted breaching the same legislation. Michael Joseph Almond Senior, of Westbourne Road, Hartlepool must pay a £1,000 fine and £204.80 in costs while Michael Vincent Almond Junior, of Plymouth Walk, Hartlepool, was fined £650.
The solicitors at Accident Advice Helpline can advise whether you are entitled to compensation if you have become ill or exposed to asbestos at work. To discuss your potential claim with a member of their expert team dial 0800 689 0500 now.
Source: The Construction Index
Date Published: August 7, 2014
Author: David Brown