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Council fined after not advising worker about safety gloves

A Nuneaton local authority has been fined after it failed to notify a worker about the need to wear protective gloves and other items of safety equipment.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council after it sent an employee to deal with a water leak in a housing complex without warning him asbestos was present.

He found the faulty pipe in a ceiling void on the first floor of the building after removing an asbestos insulation board (AIB) sheet but, as he was unaware he was dealing with asbestos, the worker used a hand saw to cut part of the AIB sheet without wearing safety gloves, placing him in danger.

The council was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,140 and HSE inspector Mike Ford said the case was 'particularly disappointing' as the watchdog expects more from local authorities.

He said: 'The dangers of asbestos are well known in the building industry so for Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council not to inform its employee of its presence showed a major failing in the Council's procedures at that time.'

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