Component maker fined for exposing unlicensed workers to asbestos
Wednesday 29th August 2018
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Birmingham Magistrates' Court was told that the Birmingham Specialities employees had been asked by their manager to remove the wall, despite there being no asbestos survey or up-to-date asbestos management plan for the premises.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there were no safeguards or proper precautions in place before the unlicensed workers removed the asbestos insulation sheets.
Birmingham Specialities, which manufactures products such as sub-assemblies, metal pressings and CNC machined components, pleaded guilty to breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. It has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £2,454 costs.
HSE inspector Tariq Khan said: "Asbestos in buildings needs to be managed or removed by competent contractors. Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and the provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working.
"The company needed to follow the proper procedures by carrying out an asbestos survey and formulating an asbestos management plan as well as training those responsibilities for managing asbestos."
Thistlemoor Healthcare and Management was undertaking extensive refurbishment works, one of which was a part of a medical centre in Peterborough, between April and May 2017, but did not carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of the asbestos risk. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the company did not survey either site for the hazardous material, though both properties were likely to contain asbestos.
The Insolvency Service’s powers to ban company directors will be extended to those involved in “phoenixing”, also known as “bumping companies”, in order to dodge paying a dissolved company’s debts to their own staff and creditors.
Kent County Council was fined £200,000 for the oversight because, as the employer under the Health and Safety at Work Act, it had failed to ensure employees liable to be exposed to asbestos had been trained adequately. The school, Lansdowne primary, was not prosecuted because it had transferred to the Stour Academy Trust and was no longer run by the council at the time of the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) initial visit.
The SHE technician apprenticeship is a level three qualification (the equivalent of two A Levels). Completion of the two-year course will enable apprentices to start their career as a safety and health professional and join IOSH at TechIOSH level. It was spearheaded by a working group comprising Balfour Beatty, Costain, High Speed 2, Mitie, Morrison Utilities, Permission Homes, Sapa UK, Sisk, Skanska and Thames Water, to address the impact that technological innovations are having on business working practices.
An employee of Northern Structures was removing roof sheets from a timber-framed farm building on 20 September 2017 when he fell through one of the asbestos cement roof sheets, landing 4 m below. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that, although Northern Structures had provided a risk assessment and method statement to remove the roof sheets from below the frame, the method was then changed so the worker had to stand on the roof and remove the sheets.