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The Health and Safety Executive has successfully prosecuted an asbestos expert who failed to provide workers in his care with adequate workwear.

Steven Kelly, a 41-year-old asbestos removal supervisor, failed to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) during works at Trafford College in December last year.

The breach was found by the HSE following an unannounced trip to the Greater Manchester site. Inspectors found there were at least three men working in a potentially harmful asbestos area, with none wearing protective clothing.

During their visit on December 12, the inspectors found three men working in an asbestos affected area of the site without suitable clothing or masks. When challenged, it was discovered that Kelly sent the men to the site to fix temporary lighting.

The men had been sent to the site wearing just their own clothes, including regular lace-up footwear, and half-face respiratory masks. Disposable under clothing, Wellington boots and full face masks should have been worn as a minimum.

Laura Moran, a HSE inspector, said:

“Steven Kelly put workers at risk by not following the correct safety procedures.

“He simply should never have allowed three men to go into a contaminated area […] without the correct protective clothing and respiratory masks.”

This risked the men breathing in dangerous fibres and taking fibes off site, possibly contaminating members of the public and the workers’ own families.

The inspection also revealed that Kelly failed in his provision of sufficient cleaning water, failed to dispose of clothing correctly and failed to operate daily mask checks.

Kelly pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined nearly £800 plus costs.

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