Supervisor fined for incident involving asbestos fibres
Steven Kelly, a trained supervisor, has been fined by the Magistrates’ Court at Trafford for exposing personnel in his care to the threat posed by asbestos fibres. Kelly had not followed established company procedures.
Laura Moran of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) explained:
“Asbestos is responsible for thousands of deaths in the UK every year but it only becomes dangerous when it is broken up and fibres are released in to the air. He should never have allowed three men to go into a contaminated area without wearing the correct protective clothing and respiratory masks.”
Kelly admitted his responsibility for the breach of health and safety legislation dating from 1974. He incurred a fine of £790 and was obliged to pay a further £250 in costs.
The HSE brought forward the action after it performed a site visit without a warning back in December 2012. It was then that the inspectors discovered that the three workers were operating without the necessary PPE (person protective equipment). It was also found that workers were not provided with the means to sponge down their masks and boots.
The incident took place at a college in Stretford. Kelly was working on behalf of a company called Winsulate. He is reported by SHPOnline to have sent the three workers into a space underneath some classrooms that were being renovated. They were still wearing their own clothing as they attempted to repair some lighting. In addition, the masks they had on did not cover all the necessary parts of their faces.