Asbestos exposure leads to fines for engineering firm
A company from Stockport has recently been sentenced, following two workers being unnecessarily exposed to asbestos.
Trafford Magistrates' Court was told how the engineering firm Flueclean Installations Services Limited had been hired to remove and replace boilers from the school's boiler room. While removing the panels from the boilers, asbestos insulation was discovered on the casing of the boiler, leaving two gas engineers exposed to the harmful substance.
The company pleaded guilty to being in breach of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. For each breach, Flueclean was ordered to pay costs of £3,517 and £4,000.
According to Kevin Jones, an inspector for the Health and Safety Executive:
“Asbestos is the greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK with over 4,000 deaths arising from past exposure.”
Jones added that contractors have a care of duty to make sure that any work that may expose asbestos is carefully planned and that workers are fully protected from the substance. Specialist companies with PPE and all necessary equipment would normally be hired to safely remove the asbestos so that work can then take place in a safe environment.
The report in this case stated that the engineering company had not carried out a risk assessment, which would have detected the asbestos. The discovery of the substance would have resulted in a contractor licenced to remove asbestos being hired to carry out the work. Due to the failure of the company to perform its duty, the contractors had been exposed to asbestos.