Removal contractor fined for failure to maintain respiratory masks

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 states that those using respiratory mask equipment as a safety measure must have the mask fitted correctly and re-tested on a yearly basis.

AG&M Ltd, a licensed asbestos removal contractor, has been fined for putting its workers at risk of exposure to asbestos during a refurbishment project in Warwickshire. AG&M Ltd were prosecutes by the HSE for failing to properly maintain a decontamination unit and respiratory masks, and for failing to have a trained supervisor on site at a building in Station Road, Kenilworth.

Nuneaton Magistrates’ Court heard that an inspector from HSE visited the site on 20 January 2011 and found the unit, which was essential to allow workers to clean themselves thoroughly after removing asbestos from the building, was substandard. In addition, there has been no maintenance to the respiratory masks.  AG&M Ltd, of Stocks Hill, Ecclesfield,Sheffield, was found guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £5,349 costs.

Fit testing is required where respiratory protective equipment (RPE) is used as a safety measure. The performance of RPE with a tight-fitting face piece depends on a good contact between the wearers skin and the face seal of the mask (The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations, 2002). Here at Armco we provide face fit testing to identify the correctly fitting mask and educate users on how to wear and maintain the mask.

Fit testing should be repeated if the wearer: looses or gains enough weight to change the shape of their face; undergoes substantial dental work and develops any facial scars or moles, etc, which could affect the fit of the RPE. With regard to maintenance, re-testing for all wearers is recommended on a yearly basis to check that the face piece remains suitable and that the wearer is taking care to wear and remove the mask correctly.

Armco can provide face fit testing and other asbestos related training at your premises or here at our offices in Bury, Greater Manchester which are accessible to those in Lancashire, Manchester, Bolton, Rochdale and Oldham etc. Or we can attend you premises in  Liverpool, Leeds, London etc and any other area in the UK.

For more information and a competitive quote, please contact us on 0161 761 4424 or info@armco.org.uk

Published Jun 18, 2012
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