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Survey Safe is an independent consulting firm

offering comprehensive asbestos surveying

solutions to domestic and industrial clients.

You can be assured that you will be offered

the best possible advice at competitive rates.

More prosecutions raise the issue of continuing lax attitude toward Asbestos Risks

Ignore the Perils of Asbestos at your Peril!

Two separate prosecutions by the Health & Safety Executive recently have highlighted just how some building companies are continuing to ignore the many dangers surrounding the issue of asbestos.

In one case, an estate management director was fined 8,000 after failing to manage the spread of asbestos during the demolition of a building. He was also ordered to pay more than 10,000 in costs.

In a separate case, another building firm was fined 12,500 with 6,295 costs for asbestos failings during the refurbishment of a public house.

Magistrates heard that a managing director of a building firm had instructed a worker to dismantle a building by using an excavator. There had been no asbestos survey carried out prior to the work being started and asbestos containing materials were disturbed during the demolition.

In the first case, a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the managing director had been told about his duty to manage asbestos by the District council who covered that area. He even obtained a quote for an asbestos refurbishment survey on another project close by.

The second incident happened at the public house refurbishment and this was being carried out on behalf of the brewery that owned the pub.

As well as the fine to the building contractor, Magistrates fined the firms director 2,500 with costs of 2,000 and the brewery 5,000 plus 6,295 in costs.

The court heard that the work took place without a suitable asbestos survey report which should have been provided by the brewery in the first place.

Asbestos: If in Doubt, Leave it Alone.

The workmen, who were all employees of the building firm in question, began removal of an internal wall and uncovered asbestos insulation boards inside. The person who was in charge of the site, arranged for a sample of the board to be tested by asbestos specialists but also asked the workers to pick up the debris from the uncovered boards.

During the demolition of the wall and the subsequant clean up operation, there was further disturbance and exposure of asbestos on the work site.

Speaking after the court hearing, an HSE inspector said: "Multiple failures on site led to significant risks of exposure to asbestos dust to the four workmen. Asbestos dust can cause fatal lung diseases and the dangers are well known in the industry. On average, 20 tradesmen die every week from asbestos related diseases. As the owners of the site, namely the brewery, should have provided a full and thorough assessment of the possible presence of asbestos at the public house.

"Once the asbestos boards were found, the site manager should have stopped the demolition work and reduced the risk of exposure by providing the workmen with a safe system of remedial measures. All those involved in refurbishment or demolitions must be fully aware of their responsibilities for workers safety when carrying out their work. This should include following a safe decontamination process, which, depending on severity, could include use of a mask, safe disposal of contaminated clothing and taking a shower."

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