An asbestos professional has been fined after workers under his supervision were exposed to potentially-deadly fibres at a college in Greater Manchester in late 2012.
A fully-trained and qualified supervisor in licensed asbestos removal has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for allowing workers to remove asbestos without the correct personal protective equipment.
The court heard that during an unannounced visit by a HSE officer to Trafford College in the evening of December 2012, it wa found that manager Steven Kelly had sent workers for Manchester based Winsulate into the undercroft beneath the classrooms, which had been sealed off from the rest of the building, to fix the temporary lighting. It was reported that they wearing their own clothes instead of disposable clothing under their overalls and half masks instead of full-face respiratory masks.
Also the men were found to be wearing lace-up instead of wellington boots, which meant asbestos fibres could stick to their laces or get inside their boots. This led to them being put at risk of breathing in asbestos fibres, and other fibres could have remained on their clothes when they went home to their families in the evening. In addition, there was insufficient water for workers to properly sponge down boots and masks to stop fibres becoming airborne, used clothing discarded inside the enclosure and a failure to carry out daily checks on masks.
Mr Kelly, of Burwell Close in Kirkby, was fined £790 and ordered to pay costs of £250 after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to take reasonable care of workers under his supervision.
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Published Oct 23, 2013