A building company based in Ipswich has been fined £10,000 following its guilty plea to breaching the Control of Asbestos Regulations and the Work at Height Regulations. In addition, the court hearing in Chelmsford resulted in £3365.50 being ordered to be paid to cover the costs of the case. A £120 victim surcharge was also added to the total amount to be paid in fines and costs.
LJW Cladding Ltd, of Evesham Close in Ipswich, found itself under investigation after a member of the public got in touch with the Health and Safety Executive. This individual had seen the work the company was doing at a farm in Waltham, Essex and suspected it may not be of a safe nature. The investigation discovered that asbestos was being removed even though the company did not possess a licence that permitted it to do so. Furthermore, the company only provided employees with a hose and baby wipes to facilitate the decontamination process. As such employees were potentially put in danger by being exposed to the fibres from the asbestos being removed.
The roof of the building was also fragile and workers were not provided with safe means to remove the asbestos from it.
How common is it for such breaches of the Health and Safety Act to come to light?
Fortunately the vast majority of building companies take every conceivable precaution to ensure all work is done safely and their employees are not at risk of illness, accident or death. Unfortunately a small proportion of businesses do ignore the rules and potentially create dangers and hazards where they can easily be prevented. This company endangered workers when it could easily have taken measures to prevent this from occurring. Fortunately the member of the public alerted the HSE to prevent any accidents from happening.
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Date Published: February 22, 2015
Author: David Brown