A couple of businesses based in Essex have received fines because they were found guilty of exposing their staff to asbestos over many years.
The companies knew that their buildings contained asbestos, yet they completely ignored the fact and put lives in danger.
Asbestos was present in the buildings occupied by Connect Packaging, on the Manor Trading Estate in Benfleet.
The company moved into the premises in 2007 and asbestos was discovered at the time.
But Connect Packaging ignored the findings, and as a result they exposed their employees to the asbestos.
In January 2009, Connect Packaging moved out of the units, and a sister company, Creo Retail Marketing Ltd, moved in.
They were still responsible though, as owners of the buildings, to carry out ongoing maintenance and repairs.
When a new Health and Safety Officer was appointed in 2014, Creo Marketing arranged for an asbestos survey to be carried out.
The survey confirmed the presence of asbestos in the buildings, but despite this, while the 2 companies argued the toss over who was responsible for the removal of the asbestos, workers remained exposed on a daily basis.
Employees from both companies contacted the HSE with their concerns.
The HSE then launched an investigation into the matter.
Their scientists discovered that there were asbestos fibers present in various places – on the rafters, in the stationery cupboard and even at the workers’ clocking in point.
Basildon Magistrates court heard the case and fined Connect Packaging Ltd £65,000 and ordered them to pay £8,150.23 in costs.
The company pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations.
Creo Retail Marketing were fined £150,000 and ordered to pay £8,149.63 costs after they pleaded guilty to 2 breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Control of Asbestos Regulations.
Source of article:- Bohs magazine www.bohs.org
Duty holders and employers have a legal responsibility to manage asbestos in their building so as not to put employees at risk. Contact our Armco office for asbestos management and refurbishment/ demolition surveys on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting https://www.armco.org.uk/
Alternatively, to book onto one of our asbestos training courses, please call 0161 761 4424 or visit https://www.armcoasbestostraining.co.uk/
Published Mar 14, 2017