Stockton on Tees Borough Council have been found guilty of two contraventions of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 after their common practice to ‘clear and strip’ properties ready for demolition lead to workers being exposed to asbestos. They were fined a total of £20, 000 and ordered to pay over £5, 500 in costs.
It was decided by the Council that the Music and Drama Club in Buchanan Street would be demolished as part of a regeneration project. A survey carried out in April 2010 identified areas that contained asbestos. Teeside Magistrates’ Court heard that one of the council’s “Care For Your Area” teams over the weekend of 29-31 May 2010 carried out the ‘clear and strip’.
It was heard that the team removed most of the fixtures and fittings and thes,e along with debris and rubble, were transferred to a refuse vehicle and transported to a landfill site for disposal. A contractor appointed to carry out the asbestos removal and demolition of the building in July 2010 discovered that the earlier work had disturbed asbestos and some asbestos containing materials had been removed. A further survey implemented in August 2010 showed that eight areas of the building where asbestos was removed or disturbed.
An investigation by HSE found that the Council had made a series of serious safety failings: failure to make an assessment of the risk created by the presence of asbestos; no plan of work was agreed; the team were not informed of the findings of the April 2010 survey; adequate training in asbestos awareness had not been implemented; they did not prevent or reduce the spread of asbestos and finally; they did not ensure the safe disposal of the asbestos containing material and debris.
Here at Armco we can attend to all your asbestos related requirements, thus ensuring you remain within asbestos regulations and protect staff and the public. We offer various asbestos related training including Asbestos Awareness, which is necessary for those who are likely to come into contact with asbestos containing materials in their work tasks. The training describes the history of asbestos, what is it made up of and what it looks like, materials and areas which are likely to contain asbestos and the procedures to follow should asbestos be encountered. Contact the office for further details – 0161 761 4424.
Published Jul 04, 2012