Suffolk window firm fined after removing asbestos illegally and spreading asbestos fibres
Window replacement firm pleads guilty to various asbestos related health and safety breeches and ordered to pay almost £35, 000 in fines and court costs
Frames Conservatories Direct Ltd (FCDL), a window replacement company, has been fined after it exposed workers to potentially fatal asbestos material during work to replace window units at a school in Bury St Edmunds.
The company informed Westley Middle School that the asbestos containing panels in the school would be removed by registered contractors and disposed of in the correct manner over the school summer holidays in 2012. The court heard that the firm had not received the correct training, thus not ‘licensed’ to do this type of asbestos removal and also that the employees undertaking the work were not informed it contained asbestos, thus no control measures were implemented to prevent the spread of fibres.
The HSE was informed when a licensed contractor at the school witnessed the illegal removal. The HSE ordered the work to stop immediately, the area be sealed off and then launched an investigation. A qualified contractor then undertook an extensive programme of cleaning under strictly controlled conditions in all affected areas of the school. Once the asbestos removal was completed, air tests were carried out and the areas certified safe for re-occupation.
It was reported he school spent some £111,495 on environmental cleaning and replacement of teaching aids and other items that had to be destroyed because of contamination. Frames Conservatories Direct Ltd, of Barton Retail Park, Barton Road, Bury St Edmunds, was fined a total of £24,000 and ordered to pay £10,571 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching regulations 8(1) and 11(1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
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