Asbestos Exposure Related Fines
It is widely understood that any building constructed before the year 2000 may contain asbestos. Asbestos can literally turn up anywhere as it was extensively used throughout the UK.
Fined For Drilling Through Asbestos Boards
At Anderson Tower in Motherwell in 2014, a utility company was fined for exposing four employees to asbestos during cabling works at the tower block.
Four electricians employed by the company were drilling through door transom panels to pass cables through during upgrades.
An asbestos survey had been conducted but did not seem to include the door panels in each apartment entrance.
The refurbishments started in June 2014 and all 44 apartment entrance transom panels had been drilled through. The employees were reportedly unaware that the panels contained asbestos and so no controls were in place. There would have been asbestos particles in the air during and after the drilling.
It was only when a resident from the tower raised the alarm that the panels were asbestos that the work was stopped. The panels were tested and confirmed to be asbestos. The local residents were asked to leave by the council so that the flats could be decontaminated.
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigated and found that the utility company failed to provide a safe system and did not identify asbestos prior to starting works.
The company was fined £6000 after breaching the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.
A health and safety inspector said this could have been avoided completely if a comprehensive asbestos survey had been carried out and included all materials that were likely to have been disturbed (including the transom panels).
You can read the original news article from the HSE by clicking here.
Asbestos Surveyors Northern Ireland
We would reiterate what the HSE inspector said in this case. Always have a comprehensive asbestos survey carried out. Never carry out refurbishment works without one.
We cover Northern Ireland and provide quality and easy to understand asbestos reports. We can help you discover asbestos in your property and implement safeguards to keep everyone safe. It is better to prevent any exposure by having a good system in place at your premises.
Contact Us or call Philip to book your Northern Ireland asbestos survey today on 07702 332 333.