Suffolk building company fined for exposing employees to asbestos
A Suffolk building company has been fined for lacking in a number of safety measures including control of asbestos and work at heights
An investigation from the HSE (health and safety executive) has found that a firm LJW Cladding Ltd removed asbestos insulation board without the necessary license. Insulation cladding board is one of the most dangerous types of asbestos containing material (ACM) and is extremely hazardous. Removal of such substance needs to be undertaken by a fully qualified and licensed contractor.
The film also failed to protect employees from falls of up to 4 metres whilst they worked on a farm in Waltham, Essex. There was no use of safety netting and inappropriate use of harnesses found at the site.
The workers were potentially exposed to dangerous asbestos fibres and rather than being properly trained and using the correct equipment they were provided with baby wipes and a hose as a means of decontamination. No protective overalls were worn; workers own clothes became contaminated and could have been taken home at night, spreading the toxic substance.
The HSE was notifies by a member of the public, concerned that unsafe work was being carried out.
The investigation found that LJW Cladding Ltd did not have a license permitting them to remove asbestos and the firm did not make the farm owner aware of this.
None of the workers had taken out any training or had any certificates to remove licensed asbestos, there was also no health and safety procedures undertaken to ensure employees did not fall when they were removing the asbestos.
Control of asbestos regulation 2012 says that every employer should give adequate training, instruction and information to those of his employees who are liable to be exposed to asbestos, or those who supervise such employees. None of these regulations were adhered to by LJW Cladding.
The firm made inadequate attempts to stop fibres being released into the air and inhaled during removal and no protective respiratory equipment was used.
LJW Cladding received total fines of £10,000, additionally £3365.50 in costs and £120 victim surcharge after pleading guilty to breaches of work at height regulations and control of asbestos regulations.
The HSE principal inspector said that incompetent actions led to employees being potentially exposed to asbestos fibres at a much higher level than would have been possible had a competent licensed contractor been used.
This emphasises the importance of adequate training dealing when dealing with asbestos. At Armco we offer comprehensive training at our dedicated training facility in Bury, Manchester. Our courses include;